TORONTO, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Confidence among Canada's small- and
medium-size businesses became more subdued in May, according to the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business
Barometer® index dropped a further 1.6 points after a 1.3 point decline
in April, landing at 64.8 - its lowest reading since November.
"For the most part, optimism in Canada is being kept in check by
financial market jitters emanating from Europe," said Ted Mallett,
CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "Broadly speaking, however,
most of the economic fundamentals are still a net positive. Most
importantly, business plans for jobs and investment remain in growth
Business owners in Alberta (72), Saskatchewan (72.2) and British
Columbia (67.7) are the most optimistic in Canada. Conversely, optimism
dropped significantly in Ontario (61.1) and Nova Scotia (59.5),
bringing their index levels close to the 60-point mark, alongside
Prince Edward Island (58.5) and Newfoundland and Labrador (60.0). The
remaining provinces: Quebec (63.3), New Brunswick (63.5) and Manitoba
(63.5) are all about a point shy of the national average.
"Aside from natural resources and the health-services sector, which show
a lot of confidence, business owner optimism in most industries remains
tightly grouped in the low-to-mid 60s," commented Mallett. "The overall
drop in confidence can particularly be seen within the goods sectors -
agriculture, manufacturing and construction, although retail and
hospitality have held steady or made small gains."
There is some good news: 21 per cent of business owners plan to increase
full-time staffing levels in the next three to four months, while only
10 per cent plan to cut back. Similarly, 40 per cent of business owners
describe their state of business to be in 'good' shape, which is almost
three times the 14 per cent of owners who characterize the overall
situation as 'bad'.
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 75 when the economy
is growing. The May 2012 findings are based on 795 responses, collected
from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access
web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.5 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 109,000 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 Gisele Lumsden at 416 222-8022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org