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Small biz optimism up in May


June 1, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

June 2, 2014, Toronto — Things are looking up for many small businesses
across the country. The Canadian Federation of Independent
Business's business optimism index hit a two-year high in May.

After a strong gain in April, the CFIB's Business Barometer jumped
another 1.4 points to 67.1 in May – the highest reading in over two years.

“The
small business glass is most definitely more than half-full right now
in Canada, with very few exceptions,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s
vice-president and chief economist. “Optimism has either risen or stayed
steady in the majority of provinces in May, and we’ve seen a sustained
upward trend through the early part of 2014.”

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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.

British Columbia (74.1), Alberta (72.8), Manitoba
(66.3), Quebec (60.6), Prince Edward Island (59.4) and New Brunswick
(58.8) all gained ground in their respective confidence levels.

In Nova Scotia, the optimism level held steady at 57.0.

Optimism levels in Ontario (64.9) and Newfoundland and Labrador (65.1) dropped in May, bucking the trend.

Optimism also declined in Saskatchewan (69.9), although the province maintained the third-highest reading in the country.

By sector, business owners in the retail, natural resources, information and business services were the most optimistic.

Business
owners in wholesale, agriculture and manufacturing, and hospitality
reported less optimism but not by a significant margin.

The May
2014 findings are based on 967 responses, collected from a stratified
random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.
Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.2 per cent 19 times in 20.


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