TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - Small business optimism was down but remained relatively strong in September, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business Barometer® index slipped 1.4 points from August's 65.9, but September's 64.5 score still counts as one of the better results for 2013.
"Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Saskatchewan continue to lead the way in terms of small business confidence," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "This seems to be one pattern we can depend on month after month."
Small business confidence in Ontario had surged in recent months, peaking in August at 67.8. September saw confidence in Ontario drop sharply to 63.6. Drops were also seen in New Brunswick (55.5) and Prince Edward Island (47.6). Nova Scotia, Manitoba and British Columbia saw modest gains (61.6, 60.7 and 67.9 respectively), while Quebec's score, while stable at 59.2, remained well below the national average. The strongest sectors were health & education, the arts and wholesale, while transportation remained a weak point.
"The good news is that overall, the other indicators are stable," added Mallett. "Hiring plans are typical for this time of year, forty per cent of small business owners report a generally good state of business, and orders and accounts receivables show gradual improvement. Price and wage expectations are stable, and there are no big shifts being reported in operating constraints or pricing pressures."
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 September 2013 findings are based on 1,126 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 2.9 per cent 19 times in 20.
Read the September 2013 Business Barometer® at www.cfib.ca/barometer.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
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For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Gisele Lumsden at 416 222-8022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org