Business optimism continues to slide: survey

By Maddie Johnson | November 30, 2022 | Last updated on November 30, 2022
2 min read
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Optimism about the Canadian economy continues to decline among Canadian business leaders, according to a new survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The latest CPA Canada Business Monitor surveyed professional accountants in leadership positions across Canada, and found that only 9% of respondents were optimistic about the prospects for the national economy in the coming year.

The sentiment represents a considerable drop from 52% in the third quarter of 2021.

The proportion of respondents who are optimistic about their business over the next 12 months also dropped, to 40% from 70% year over year. Business leaders’ list of worries included inflation (21%), rising interest rates (16%) and the state of the global economy (15%).

When asked about their own companies, nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated that inflation is hurting their business (72%), with almost two in five (37%) saying inflation will likely impact their company for at least another year.

In addition, respondents indicated supply chain challenges remain, with 63% reporting an impact on product availability and 52% struggling to deliver to clients on time.

“Canadian business leaders expressed decreased optimism in their business outlook, with hiring plans being negatively impacted,” said David-Alexandre Brassard, CPA Canada’s chief economist, in a statement.

According to the study, only 37% of respondents believe they will have more employees one year from now, down from 52% last year.

Only half (51%) of respondents expect to see an increase in company revenues over the next 12 months, with less than half (42%) expecting an increase in profits, down from 74% and 62%, respectively, from Q3 2021.

Business leaders’ sentiment toward the federal government’s fiscal position held steady, with almost half (44%) of respondents indicating they are either very or extremely concerned about the feds’ finances. The majority of respondents (40%) indicated the need to set hard limits on government spending, followed by improving oversight for government finances (26%) and independent review of government spending (20%).

The CPA Canada Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by CPA Canada and conducted by Nielsen. The Q3 2022 study was conducted from Oct. 20 to Nov. 3. Emailed surveys were completed by 508 respondents identified by CPA Canada as holding senior positions in industry.

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Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for since 2019.