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Businesses more optimistic in August


September 3, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Sept. 3, 2014, Toronto – Businesses across the country ended the
summer on an optimistic note, according to the Canadian Federation of
Independent Business (CFIB).

The group's Business Barometer index hit 65.6 in August, up more than two points from the previous month's sluggish reading. This represents the third-best reading so far this year, behind the readings recorded in April and May.

“Increased
optimism this month is fuelling better near-term full-time employment
plans,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president.
”Additionally, 42 per cent of entrepreneurs say their businesses are in
good shape, versus only 10 per cent who say the opposite—which  is the
most net positive result we’ve seen since the recession.”

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Measured
on a scale from zero 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. Past results have shown
that index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is
growing at its potential.

August readings have been somewhat
scattered across the board, with Newfoundland and Labrador barometer
readings clocking in the highest (72.7), and Prince Edward Island at the
lowest (56.5).

Confidence levels in Nova Scotia (60.3), New
Brunswick (62.6), and Ontario (64.7) all saw improvements. And, while
optimism in Saskatchewan (65.0) gained some ground, its index remains a
half point under the national average.

Quebec (60.4) saw little to no change this month, holding steady at its index reading from July.

Small business owners in Manitoba (63.0) feel less optimistic, dropping below the national average.

Having
held the highest reading for the majority of this year, optimism in
British Columbia (70.2) slipped again slightly, but still maintains
reasonable economic performance compared to most regions in Canada.

“We’re
seeing more business owners constrained by labour shortages lately,”
said Mallett. “In fact, almost 38 per cent say they’re having a tough
time finding the right people to fill the right jobs.”

The August
findings are based on 957 responses, collected from a stratified random
sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect
responses received through Aug.18. Findings are statistically accurate
to +/- 3.2 per cent 19 times in 20.


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