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Business Barometer ®: Confidence drops in June

Toronto, June 29, 2017 - Canada's small business optimism dropped by more than five points in June to the 60.9 mark, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Business Barometer®.

June’s big shift is almost entirely localized to a 10-point drop in Ontario,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB Chief Economist. “Index levels often vary for purely statistical reasons, but the downdraft in Ontario is likely policy based. The sweeping labour standards legislation announced in late May appears to be adding considerable uncertainty over future operating conditions there.”

Ontario’s index now sits at 58.0, third lowest in the country after Saskatchewan (51.8) and Newfoundland and Labrador (48.2), both of which saw slight improvements in June. Businesses in British Columbia (69.5) are still the most optimistic in the country, with Prince Edward Island (67.5) and Manitoba (67.1) close behind. Quebec (65.8) saw a small gain, as did New Brunswick (63.6), while Nova Scotia (63.5) saw a slight dip. After six consecutive months of gains, Alberta (61.7) held even in June.

Industry results were also likely impacted by Ontario policy influences, with indexes rising in four and falling in nine categories. The most optimistic sectors remain health care (70.3), financial (69.8) and professional services (67.3). The least optimistic businesses are in natural resources (54.3), retail (55.5) and agriculture (56.7).

“Unsurprisingly, most other business health indicators also slipped this month” added Mallett. “Short-term hiring normally starts to ease off at this time of year, but a bigger pullback in Ontario took the national numbers down further. Wage growth expectations are also sharply up because of Ontario.”

Join Ted Mallett for a fifteen minute interactive web barometer briefing followed by a Q&A session! Ted will highlight specific areas of the report and answer any questions you may have about CFIB’s Business Barometer. Join us for a Live Barometer Briefing – June 29, 2017 @ 10am EST.

On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. One normally sees an index level of between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

June 2017 findings are based on 726 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 19. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.

Read the June Business Barometer.

To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, please contact Kiara Morrissey at 416-222-8022, or public.affairs@cfib.ca.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.

 

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