TORONTO, Sept. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Optimism among Canada's small- and
medium-size businesses continued to decline in August, according to the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business
Barometer® index dropped from 60.9 in July to 60.0, a number that
suggests very slow growth in the national economy.
"Canada's small business optimism continued its gradual downward slide
in August with a fifth-consecutive monthly decline," said Ted Mallett,
CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "The survey results point to
very slow growth. Just to keep things in perspective, the index is
still more than 20 points higher than the recessionary low of 39.9 in
December of 2008."
Optimism increased only in Newfoundland and Labrador (68.3), and Quebec
(61.6). Across the country, confidence dropped sharply in Prince Edward
Island (46.3), New Brunswick (60.5), Manitoba (58.1) and British
Columbia (56.4), while smaller declines were observed in Ontario
(58.4), Saskatchewan (69.5) and Alberta (67.9). Nova Scotia (54.4) saw
little change from July.
"Concerns about shortages of skilled labour have increased over the past
couple of months," added Mallett. "Insufficient domestic demand and
shortages of suitably skilled labour were the most commonly cited
constraints on business performance, both at 37 per cent."
Full-time hiring plans continue to be the bright spot in the survey
results: 18 per cent of business owners plan to hire full-time staff in
the next three or four months compared to 12 per cent who say they will
cut back. While hiring plans are not as upbeat as they were in the
spring, they are strong for this time of year. Overall, 41 per cent of
business owners described their state of business to be in "good"
shape, about three-times the 12 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 August 2012 findings are based on 903
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:
For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Gisele Lumsden at 416 222-8022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org