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Small biz optimism slips in July


August 14, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Aug. 14, 2014, Toronto — Optimism among Canada’s entrepreneurs is at its lowest since last December, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The CFIB's Business Barometer index for July fell slightly from June's reading, dipping by just a third of a point to 63.2. 

“Lowered optimism is driven mainly by business owners in the hospitality, construction and agriculture sectors,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “There’s still a lot to be positive about, however, and that includes parts of the economy that are performing strongly, such as the natural resources, manufacturing and information sectors.”

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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.

Index readings in most Atlantic provinces saw some improvement, such as Newfoundland and Labrador (72.2), Nova Scotia (59.6) and New Brunswick (61.7). Only PEI (59.5) experienced a slight drop.

Business owners in British Columbia (72.3) remain the country’s most optimistic, with Albertans following close behind (69.4). Manitoba (64.7) and Saskatchewan (63.5) hover just above the national average, while sentiment in Quebec (60.5) and Ontario (60.9) is still on the low end.

“Hiring plans, despite the dip in optimism, are strong this month, with 22 per cent of owners hoping to hire full-timers,” added Mallett. “Finding the right people for these jobs, however, is a concern for 36 per cent of the business owners we surveyed.”

The latest Business Barometer findings are based on 1,027 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through July 21. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent 19 times in 20.


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