TORONTO, Jan. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Optimism among Canada's small- and
medium-size businesses held steady in December, according to the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The latest monthly
Business Barometer® index came in at 62.6.
"After a few months of swings, small business confidence ends the year
very close to what it was in November," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief
economist and vice-president. "While optimism is better than it was
during the summer, the December reading is lower than index levels that
were registered in the preceding winter, spring and fall months."
Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador (69.1) remain the
most optimistic in the country. Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan (66.5),
Alberta (65.7) and British Columbia (65.0) are above the national
average, while Ontario (62.9) and Manitoba (62.3) is roughly
equivalent. Nova Scotia (61.8), Quebec (59.8), New Brunswick (59.1) and
Prince Edward Island (54.3) are all below the national average.
"The economy continues to grow, albeit modestly," added Mallett.
"Entrepreneurs are reporting generally positive news about employment
and capital investment plans. That suggests growth could improve once
we see more economic optimism in the U.S. and Europe."
Full-time hiring plans continue to be strong for this time of the year.
The percentage of businesses expecting to hire full-time staff in the
next three or four months remains above 20 per cent, compared to 10 per
cent who say they will cut back. Overall, 41 per cent of business
owners described their state of business to be in "good" shape, about
three-times the 14 per cent who said their state of business is "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 70 when the economy
is growing at its potential. The December 2012 findings are based on
889 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB
members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically
accurate to +/- 3.3 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 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:
or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Gisele Lumsden at 647 808-5769 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org