TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - Following a somewhat gloomy April, confidence among Canada's small and medium-sized businesses saw a modest increase in May, suggesting that the economy is growing at a subdued, but sustainable annualized rate of about three per cent. According to the latest business confidence survey findings from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Business Barometer(R) index rose to 67.3 - about a point above its previous level, and in line with its average since the late summer of 2009.
"Small and medium-sized retailers led the way in optimism (72.8), followed closely by those in the mining, oil and gas sector (71.2)," explained CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett, adding that "owners in agriculture, construction and hospitality are on the less optimistic side of things (all under 61)."
From a provincial perspective, business owners in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador and British Columbia are once again the most optimistic - each pushing index scores above 70. Alberta and New Brunswick businesses also have higher-than-average performance expectations.
At the other end of the scale, businesses in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are the least optimistic - with indexes under 65. Business optimism is just under the national average in Ontario and Quebec.
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 May 2010 findings are based on 921 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org