Dealers increasingly worry that rising interest rates and limited inventory could hurt vehicle sales and store profitability.

According to an Automotive News report, that’s a key conclusion from the latest Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index, a quarterly survey of auto dealers.

Though the retailers remained upbeat about the retail market, optimism in the second quarter slid from the previous quarter.

“The challenges are growing in number,” Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive’s chief economist, told Automotive News. “And they almost become self-fulfilling prophecies of weaker sales in the future.”

The survey measures dealers’ perceptions of the past 90 days and expectations for the next three months. It identifies key factors affecting retailers’ optimism or pessimism.

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