Business Barometer(R) - National small business optimism remains stable, but recovery has not yet begun

    TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ - The Canadian economy has stabilized based on the
latest business confidence survey findings from the Canadian Federation of
Independent Business (CFIB). The Business Barometer(R) index remains virtually
the same at 58.6 for July compared to 58.5 in June. Despite the recent
announcement from the Bank of Canada on the economy coming out of recession,
SME confidence has not yet turned the corner. Of particular concern is the
fact that business sentiment remains the lowest in Quebec for the second month
in a row.
    "These results show most small businesses appear to be remaining in
defensive mode," explained Ted Mallett, CFIB's vice-president of research and
chief economist. "We find the lowest optimism is in Quebec, as well as in the
agricultural, transportation, hospitality and industrial sectors. For the
first time, full-time employment indicators have now hit net negative. Looking
ahead to expected performance in the next three or four months, the balance of
opinion barely covers the break-even mark."
    Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means
owners expecting their business' performance to be stronger in the next year
outnumber those expecting weaker performance. Data were collected quarterly
from 2000 to mid-2008. Beginning September 2008, the data are now collected
monthly. To view the Business Barometer Index and GDP chart visit:
    The outcomes have also been broken down by province and industry, for
these results or to view the full report visit
    The July 2009 findings are based on 1,047 responses, collected from a
stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.
Data are statistically accurate to +/- 3.0 per cent 19 times in 20.

    Business Barometer is a monthly publication of the Canadian Federation of
Independent Business and is a registered trademark.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett,
contact Meghan Carrington or Gisele Lumsden at (416) 222-8022

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