Businesses in Canada maintain upbeat mood

CFIB's Business Barometer® Index virtually unchanged

TORONTO, April 6 /CNW/ - Small business optimism is holding steady, maintaining the upbeat mood we have seen in the country since last December. CFIB's Business Barometer® Index was 69.2 in March, virtually unchanged from February's 69.4 level.

"It should be noted however, that the majority of responses to the monthly survey were logged early in the month—before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan roiled international markets and before the election call in this country," stated CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett. "Elections don't normally have much impact on business optimism, and the initial market reactions to conditions in Japan have since seen at least a partial correction. But there is no doubt businesses are currently dealing with more uncertainty and interruptions to trade."

Business owners in the West are showing growing optimism, with Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta closely bunched at the top of the list as most optimistic, with index scores near 75—hot economies by recent standards. And, businesses in British Columbia and Newfoundland & Labrador follow closely behind with index levels in the low 70s. Quebec business owners are near the national average, while those in Ontario now appear to be falling back at levels of 66. The rest in the three Maritime Provinces have the lowest levels of optimism, all with index levels barely above 62.

Measured on a scale between 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 75 when the economy is growing.  The March 2011 findings are based on 766 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3 per cent 19 times in 20.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at 416 222-8022 or email public.affairs@cfib.ca  

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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