Greenhouse Canada

Small biz confidence down in March

March 28, 2013  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Mar. 28, 2013, Toronto — The confidence of small business owners took a
hit in March after two months of encouraging growth, according to the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The Business Barometer index dropped three and a half points from February’s results, down to 62.9.

numbers show a decline in optimism, but they’re in line with what we
saw in late 2012,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and
vice-president. “It’s too soon to say if March’s results mark a shift
away from the trend of January and February.”


Small business
owners in Saskatchewan (71.5) and Newfoundland and Labrador (69.4) are
the most optimistic in Canada, while the biggest declines in confidence
occurred in Alberta (66.7) and Ontario (61.9). Quebec (66.4), British
Columbia (65.7), and Manitoba (64.5) are above the national average,
while New Brunswick (60.4), Nova Scotia (60.4) and Prince Edward Island
(56.4) are below.

“Five provinces witnessed modest improvements
in their outlooks, and it’s good to see that employment plans are still
generally positive,” added Mallet.

Full-time hiring intentions
are at a post-recession high, as 27 per cent of owners expect to hire
full-time staff in the next few months. More worrisome is news that only
38 per cent of entrepreneurs say their businesses are in “good” shape.
This is down from the low-40s reported through 2012. In comparison, 14
per cent of owners say their businesses are in “bad” shape.

on a scale of 0 and 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.

These findings are based on 1,121 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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