Uptick in small business confidence

By Staff | October 4, 2012 | Last updated on October 4, 2012
1 min read

Optimism among Canada’s small- and medium-size businesses rebounded last month for the first time since March, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“After a five-consecutive month decline in business confidence through the spring and summer, small business owners were a little more upbeat in September,” says Ted Mallett, chief economist and vice-president, CFIB. “Despite this good news, however, the [Business Barometer] index increased two points in September to 62.0, from 60.0 in August.

This means Canada’s economy is growing at below-average rates, he adds.

Read: Fewer Canadians starting companies

Measured on a scale of 0 to 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. As indicated by past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

Read: Self-employment booming in Canada

Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador (75.0) are now the most optimistic in the country. Entrepreneurs in Alberta (71.1) and Saskatchewan (67.6) are close behind, while optimism is close to the national average in New Brunswick (62.8), Quebec (61.2), Ontario (60.1) and British Columbia (59.0). Optimism is much lower in Nova Scotia (55.6), Manitoba (54.7) and Prince Edward Island (44.6).

“Overall, 36% of business owners reported shortages of skilled labour as a constraint on their business,” says Mallett. “This is the first time since the recession that concerns over the shortage of skilled labour have exceeded worries about insufficient customer demand.”

Read: Business owners plan for growth

Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.