Published On: Thursday, 30 November 2017

Canadian Business Mood Buoyant Heading into Holidays

Canadian Business Mood Buoyant Heading into Holidays

- CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

CANADA - Heading into the holiday season, small business optimism in Canada is shows signs of improvement, according to the latest Business Barometer® survey, released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). 

Following a small gain in October, the monthly index measuring small business optimism edged up another 2.0 points this month to 59.3 out of 100.

Ted Mallett, Chief Economist at CFIB, cited improvements in both wage and capital spending plans as evidence of business confidence.

Provincial results were mixed with Ontario, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador posting the biggest gains in confidence. Although the index in Quebec lost points for the third month in a row, businesses in that province were the most optimistic in Canada.

British Columbia (60.8) and Nova Scotia (59.9) dropped slightly in the confidence poll although their indexes remain just above the national average. Sentiment in Manitoba (55.3) and Saskatchewan (52.3) shows only a minor downgrade from October results, while New Brunswick (51.4) experienced a more dramatic drop.

As far as optimism by industry sector, sentiment dropped in the professional services and retail industries but confidence increased among small business owners in both the natural resource and agriculture sectors.

Frequent concerns mentioned by businesses were rising taxes, energy, and wage costs.

On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners who expect their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level of between 65 and 70 is expected when the economy is growing at its potential.

November 2017 findings are based on 698 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, collected through a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through November 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent, 19 times in 20.