TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - October saw small business optimism trend
up ever-so-slightly from the previous month, according to the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business Barometer®
index rose by just half a point to 65.0 from September's 64.5.
"Although the index went up slightly in October, what we can take from
the last four months is a general stabilizing trend," said Ted Mallett,
CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "In the coming months, it
will be telling to see if business owners can build confidence levels
further in light of reasonably stable price and interest rate
environments and improving prospects for the US economy."
Small business optimism in Newfoundland and Labrador rose four points to
76.4, tops in the country. These levels are difficult to sustain, and a
correction could be coming. Also up in October was British Columbia,
which at 70.7 is now #2 in Canada, along with Ontario, Manitoba and New
Brunswick (66.6, 62.4, and 57.0 respectively). Prince Edward Island's
small business optimism stabilized in October, but it remains by far
the lowest reading of any of the provinces at 49.0. Nova Scotia (60.1),
Alberta (70.4) and Quebec (57.8) fell off slightly, although Alberta
remains near the top of the rankings. Saskatchewan, also near the top,
held steady at 69.4.
By sector, the strongest results were in professional services,
manufacturing and natural resources. Business owners in transportation,
finance, real estate and retail were somewhat less optimistic than the
"The ideal results are stability with an upward trend, and that's
exactly what we are seeing over the past quarter," added Mallett.
"After a rough spring, small business optimism has leveled off
somewhat, and that stability is reflected in all of the indicators.
Full-time hiring plans are steady, orders and accounts receivables show
gradual improvements, and pricing and wage expectations have also
increased of late."
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 October 2013 findings are based on
1,009 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB
members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically
accurate to +/- 3.1 per cent 19 times in 20.
Read the October 2013 Business Barometer® at www.cfib.ca/barometer.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized
businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Gisele Lumsden at 416 222-8022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org