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Small biz confidence continues to grow


March 3, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Mar. 3, 2014, Toronto — February looked a bit rosier for small business owners, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

CFIB's Business Barometer index rose by 0.4 points to 64.4 in February, expanding on its 1.7 point gain in January. In fact, the index is now running about half a point higher than its 2013 average.

“This is a sign that small businesses see the glass as more than half full for February,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist. “And, the reading’s in line with last month’s trend, where we already saw optimism levels rebounding.”

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The rapid downshift in the value of the Canadian dollar in late January showed up in business pricing plans. After averaging 1.4 per cent through 2013, expected annual price increases surged to 2.1 per cent in February as importers scrambled to adjust to the new currency level.

From a national perspective, optimism levels were slightly scattered from coast to coast. Business owners in British Columbia (71.4), Alberta (70.6) and Newfoundland and Labrador (67.2) were the most optimistic, seeing little change from January.

Quebec (59.6) and Prince Edward Island (61.0) saw slight improvements but still remained below the national average. And, while Ontario (62.9) experienced a surge in optimism in January, its February index score fell last month, as did Manitoba’s (58.7).

Optimism among small business owners in Saskatchewan (63.6), Nova Scotia (57.6) and New Brunswick (56.6) stayed virtually the same.

Measured on a scale from 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.

According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

The February 2014 findings are based on 1,156 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 2.9 per cent 19 times in 20.


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