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Small biz optimism blooms in April


April 30, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Apr. 30, 2014, Toronto — Small businesses are warming up on the optimism
front this month, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business (CFIB).

The CFIB's Business Barometer rose to 65.7 this month – the best result the barometer has posted since last November.

“This
month, optimism rose in six out of 10 provinces,” said Ted Mallett,
CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist. “That includes Saskatchewan
and Ontario, which have both surged in optimism levels since the last
reading. Optimism seems to be, on the whole, on an upward trend despite
last month’s slight dip.”

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Small gains were also made by other provinces, including BC, Newfoundland & Labrador, Manitoba and New Brunswick.

Saskatchewan’s
barometer index climbed 6.5 points to 73, the highest reading in the
country. British Columbia (71.9), Newfoundland and Labrador (68.5),
Ontario (67.7), , Manitoba (63.6) and New Brunswick (57.6) also gained
ground this month.

Optimism levels in Alberta (70.7), Quebec
(58.3), Nova Scotia (56.9) and Prince Edward Island (56.1) all turned
slightly downward.

By sector, noticeable improvements were seen
in the agriculture, natural resources, construction and manufacturing
sectors. Less optimism was seen in the consumer-side sectors, including
retail, hospitality and personal services.

“In terms of where the
economy is going, we’re getting mixed signals from other indicators,”
said Mallett. “On one hand, only 37 per cent of small business owners
say their general state of business is ‘good.’ On the other hand, 61.9
per cent plan to take on capital spending and 28 per cent plan to add
full-time staff in the next three or four months – both positive signs
and post-recession highs.”

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.

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

The
April 2014 findings are based on 1,074 responses, collected from a
stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web
survey. Under random sampling assumptions, findings are accurate to +/-
3.0 per cent 19 times in 20.


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