Business Barometer(R) - National small business confidence at its highest in
five years

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - Business confidence among Canada's small and medium-sized businesses continues to build on the momentum that has thus far characterized 2010. According to the latest business confidence survey findings from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Business Barometer(R) index rose to 69.9 in March - its highest level in half a decade.

Ted Mallett, CFIB's vice-president of research and chief economist, says that this level of optimism is consistent with a healthy, sustained economic growth rate of about 4 per cent, which suggests Canada's strong economic rebound to date will continue.

"In a truly rare development, business confidence is highest in the retail sector (72.9), followed closely by wholesale (72.5) - suggesting that the consumer economy is powering forward and being spurred by low interest rates," explained Mallett, adding that "manufacturers (71.8) are in positive stead despite a spirited loonie, and the rebound of confidence in the natural resources sector will be music to the ears of western economies."

Although the farming and hospitality sectors are reporting lower than average levels of optimism, their seasonal dependence means that yearly performance will not be defined until the mid part of 2010.

This index is available provincially and by industry. Results and the full report are available at: http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/barometer and www.cfib-fcei.ca/cfib-documents/Canada-BarometerHistory.xls

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 2010 findings are based on 1,031 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.

Business Barometer is a monthly publication of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and is a registered trademark.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business

For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at (416) 222-8022


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