Fonds de solidarité FTQ SME Confidence Index: varied and complementary sources of financing more important than ever during uncertain economic times

MONTREAL, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The confidence of Québec SME leaders has dropped sharply since September 2011, according to the November release of the SME Confidence Index of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ (the "Fonds"). Operating costs have also surpassed recruitment as the top concern in the last year.

The overall index now stands at 62.2, a decrease of 5.2 points since September 2011 (67.4) and 1.2 points since September 2012 (63.4). Optimism concerning the outlook of Québec SMEs in the next 12 months has declined by 9.2 points since September 2011, to 58.9. Confidence in the outlook of SME leaders' own company also fell sharply during the same period, dropping 6.7 points to 68.3. SME leaders still think however that financing conditions will remain favourable in the coming 12 months.

Operating costs are now the chief concern for 56% of SME owners for the next 12 months, up 14% since September 2011, when recruitment topped the list.

"In a context where business confidence continues to slide due to an unpredictable economy and where operating costs have become the number one concern, the availability of varied, complementary sources of funding is more important than ever," stated the Fonds' Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development and Investment, Gaétan Morin. "Our SMEs must have access to capital if they are to upgrade their machinery. Bank or institutional financing, whether public or private, must be capable of meeting SME needs at every stage of their development. This will place them in a better position to take up the economic challenges of the future as well as to seize opportunities created by the strong Canadian dollar."

"Our survey shows that five times as many SMEs are planning to make an acquisition, rather than sell their operations. In these uncertain times, which are nonetheless filled with opportunities, Québec businesses must take advantage of the varied financing sources available to them. A clear sign that Québec's financial system meets most SME needs, their leaders consider that financial conditions in the next 12 months will be favourable," concluded Mr. Morin.

Summary of Survey Results - November 2012

        Average out of 100
Overall index       62.2
  Optimistic Pessimistic Neutral Average out of 100
Outlook for Québec SMEs in the next 12 months 57% 28% 15% 58.9
  Optimistic Pessimistic Neutral Average out of 100
Outlook for your company in the next 12 months 73% 13% 13% 68.3
  Hiring
(Increase)
Layoffs
(Decrease)
Status quo Average out of 100
Net increase or decrease in the number of employees in Québec in the next 12 months 62% 19% 18% 59.7
  Investment Disinvestment Status quo Average out of 100
Investment or disinvestment in equipment modernization in the next 12 months 70% 17% 13% 63.7
  Favourable Unfavourable Same Average out of 100
Credit conditions in the next 12 months 63% 26% 11% 60.7




Main Short-Term Issues for SMEs (more than one answer permitted)
Operating costs 56%
Recruitment 54%
Access to and cost of credit 14%
U.S. protectionism 11%
Cost of raw materials 9%
Competition from emerging markets 9%
Deflation 8%
Rise of the Canadian dollar 7%

Methodology - The online survey polled 201 Québec SMEs with 10 or more employees and sales of $5 million and up. Respondents were invited to complete the survey between November 8 and 19, 2012, on Léger Marketing's secure Web site. The following five indicators make up the index:

  • Outlook concerning Québec SMEs in general
  • Outlook concerning respondent's business
  • Capital spending intentions
  • Hiring or layoff intentions for Québec
  • Perception of credit conditions

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $8.5 billion as of May 31, 2012, the Fonds is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help further Québec's economic growth. Its investments, in all sectors of the economy, contribute to the creation and maintenance of businesses and development in Quebec. The Fonds is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in 2,239 companies. With its 594,287 owner-shareholders, it has helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and protect 168,577 jobs. For more information, visit www.FondsFTQ.com.

 

 

SOURCE: FONDS DE SOLIDARITE FTQ

For further information:

Information for media representatives only:
Patrick McQuilken
Senior Advisor, Media Relations and Communications
Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Phone: 514 850-4835
Mobile : 514 703-5587
Email: pmcquilken@fondsftq.com

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ on the Web:
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FONDS DE SOLIDARITE FTQ

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