TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The confidence of small business owners
took a hit in March after two months of encouraging growth, according
to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business
Barometer® index dropped three and a half points from February's
results to 62.9.
"The numbers show a decline in optimism, but they're in line with what
we saw in late 2012," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and
vice-president. "It's too soon to say if March's results mark a shift
away from the trend of January and February."
Small business owners in Saskatchewan (71.5) and Newfoundland and
Labrador (69.4) are the most optimistic in Canada, while the biggest
declines in confidence occurred in Alberta (66.7) and Ontario (61.9).
Quebec (66.4), British Columbia (65.7), and Manitoba (64.5) are above
the national average, while New Brunswick (60.4), Nova Scotia (60.4)
and Prince Edward Island (56.4) are below.
"Five provinces witnessed modest improvements in their outlooks, and
it's good to see that employment plans are still generally positive,"
Full-time hiring intentions are at a post-recession high, as 27 per cent
of owners expect to hire full-time staff in the next few months. More
worrisome is news that only 38 per cent of entrepreneurs say their
businesses are in "good" shape, which is down from the low-40s reported
through 2012. In comparison, 14 per cent of owners say their businesses
are in "bad" shape.
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 February 2013 findings are based on
1121 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.
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
For further information:
or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Gisele Lumsden at 416 222-8022 or email email@example.com