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Small biz confidence drops in June


July 2, 2013
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

July 2, 2013,
Toronto — Small business confidence fell sharply in June, and is now at
its lowest point since July 2009, according to the Canadian Federation
of Independent Business (CFIB).

The CFIB's Business Barometer index fell almost three points to 59.4 from May's 62.1, a fourth consecutive monthly decline.

"Weak demand appears to be driving this," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "Only 73 per cent of respondents report that new orders are "normal" or better, while 40 per cent say domestic demand is limiting business expansion—both out of tune with recent results."

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The drop in optimism is centred almost entirely in Ontario and Quebec (56.8 and 55.3, respectively). Confidence remains strongest in Alberta (68.6), with Saskatchewan (67.3) edging up. Newfoundland and Labrador (66.3) and British Columbia (65.6) are also above the national average.

There is very little change in the under-performing Maritimes, with New Brunswick (59.2) hanging around the national average, and Nova Scotia (53.6) and Prince Edward Island (53.3) lagging behind.

"Despite weak results, there are signs we are nearing a floor," added Mallett. "Short-term employment plans are net positive, while reporting of the general state of business health is holding steady."

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. Past results show index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

The June 2013 findings are based on 1,708 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 2.4 per cent 19 times in 20.


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