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Small businesses less optimistic in September


September 27, 2013
By Canadian Florist

Sept. 27, 2013,
Toronto – Small business optimism was down but remained relatively
strong in September, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business (CFIB).

The Business Barometer index slipped 1.4 points from August’s 65.9, but September’s 64.5 score still counts as one of the better results for 2013.

“The good news is that overall, the other indicators are stable,” said
Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. “Hiring plans
are typical for this time of year, forty per cent of small business
owners report a generally good state of business, and orders and
accounts receivables show gradual improvement. Price and wage
expectations are stable, and there are no big shifts being reported in
operating constraints or pricing pressures.”

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“Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Saskatchewan continue to lead
the way in terms of small business confidence,” added Mallett. “This
seems to be one pattern we can depend on month after month.”

Small business confidence in Ontario had surged in recent months,
peaking in August at 67.8. September saw confidence in Ontario drop
sharply to 63.6.

Drops were also seen in New Brunswick (55.5) and Prince Edward Island (47.6).

Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British Columbia saw modest gains (61.6, 60.7 and 67.9 respectively).

Quebec’s score, while stable at 59.2, remained well below the national average.

The strongest sectors were health & education, the arts and wholesale, while transportation remained a weak point.

Measured 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.

This month's findings are based on 1,126 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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