TORONTO, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - In advance of what is traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is reporting that small business optimism in Canada has settled back to levels more reflective of mid-2010. Following a brief jump to 66.9 in October, CFIB's Business Barometer® index landed at 64.0 in November, suggesting that the economy is growing, but at unspectacular rates.
"These indications suggest retailers are preparing for only modest growth over last year," explained CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett. "Consumer spending is not likely to be robust, and seasonal inventory levels have been set accordingly."
CFIB Business Barometer Index and GDP
With improving prospects in the resources sector, business owners in Alberta are the most confident in the country, with an index level above 75 for the first time since mid 2007. Owners in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces also have higher-than average index scores—clustered closely around the 68 mark. Even those at the bottom of the list: Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, are not that far behind. That and the similarly close levels of expectations among industry sectors suggest the economy has some resilience to downward pressures. The only exceptions, and persisting causes for concern, are low levels of optimism in the construction and hospitality industries.
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 November 2010 findings are based on 826 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.5 per cent 19 times in 20.
Business Barometer is a monthly publication of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and is a registered trademark.
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 107,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.
For further information: For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at 416 222-8022 or email[email protected]