● The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey of business opinion in the province
● Despite a boost in confidence over the last year, only 48 percent of businesses are confident in Ontario's economy
● 74 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization's economic outlook
TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario businesses are more confident in the Ontario economy compared to this time last year, according to a new survey from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Leger Marketing. The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index shows that despite this boost in confidence, more than half of businesses in Ontario remain uncertain about the province's economy.
The index also shows that 74 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization's outlook, a slight increase over the previous year.
"Ontario businesses are confident in themselves and in their capacity to invest in Ontario," says Allan O'Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "I think there's cause to be cautiously optimistic--business confidence levels are on the uptick, but they're not great."
The survey of over 2,200 businesses is featured in the newly released report Emerging Stronger 2014, a business-driven economic agenda for Ontario authored by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Mowat Centre and Leger Marketing. The report identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance Ontario's economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province.
"Ontarians will likely be voting frequently over the next two years – federally, provincially, and municipally," says Matthew Mendelsohn, Director of the Mowat Centre. "We hope that the next two years will be a time when Ontario politicians from all three levels of government will demonstrate a laser-like focus on economic issues and on the business climate."
"There are actions that government and business can do to boost our economy and business confidence," adds O'Dette. "But right now there is uncertainty in Ontario's business climate, possibly as a result of potential changes to the pension system and rising energy costs."
"There is still a significant gap between business' confidence in their own outlook and their confidence in the economy," adds Dave Scholz, Chief Marketing Officer and Partner at Leger Marketing. "This may be an indication that businesses recognize that there are potential clouds ahead in the global economic outlook and the public policy environment."
Among the survey's findings are:
● 74 percent of businesses are confident in their organization's economic outlook, up 2 percent points from last year.
● 48 percent of businesses are confident in the Ontario economy, up 4 percentage points from last year.
● 42 percent believe Ontario's economy is headed in the right direction, while 38 percent believe it is not.
● Businesses in the financial services sector (74 percent) are the most likely to expand over the next 5 years; only 51 percent of manufacturers plan to expand over the same period.
● Some regions are much more confident than others: The Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula region is the most confident in the province, while Windsor-Sarnia is the least confident.
Read Emerging Stronger 2014: www.occ.ca/emergingstronger
SOURCE: Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For further information: Neville McGuire, Manager of Communications, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, T.416.482.5222 ext. 2410, E. [email protected]