Business Barometer(R) - National small business confidence continues downward
drift

TORONTO, Aug. 4 /CNW/ - Optimism among Canada's small- and medium-sized business owners has experienced its third decline in the past four months. According to the latest business confidence survey findings from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Business Barometer(R) index fell modestly to 65.7 in July, compared to 66.4 in June.

"The estimates for July have fallen in eight of 13 industry groupings and seven out of 10 provinces, suggesting the economy is settling into a phase of slower growth," explained CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett, adding that "business owners are likely betting on higher interest rates and slower growth into the future."

Regionally, patterns of relative strength and weakness are continuing through July. Strength is concentrated in Newfoundland & Labrador and British Columbia, with Barometer index levels of 71.9 and 70.3 respectively. New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta are closely packed in the 65 to 68 range, while business owner optimism levels in Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are a few points below the national average.

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 July 2010 findings are based on 1,022 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 or email public.affairs@cfib.ca


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