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BC small business confidence grows in May

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Province’s entrepreneurs remain second most optimistic in Canada

VANCOUVER, May 26, 2016 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business confidence index increased 1.7 points in May to 67.1. 

Optimism among the province’s entrepreneurs increased for a third straight month, bringing it to its highest level in ten months.  Meanwhile, the overall Canadian index dropped a point, widening BC’s margin over the national index (58.2) to 8.9 points.  BC remains the second highest provincial index in Canada, trailing only PEI (75.0).  At the bottom of the list was Alberta, with that province experiencing a six point rebound in May to 34.6, the second monthly increase after six consecutive declines.

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.  An index level of between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

“BC small business confidence continues to move in the right direction, reflecting rising optimism among entrepreneurs about the provincial economy and their future business prospects,” notes Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta.  “The province’s business owners are the most confident they’ve been in nearly a year.”

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer

Hiring intentions deflated by 3 points since last month, but remain relatively upbeat with 25 per cent of business owners in May saying they plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months. That compares to 9 per cent expecting to cut back, static from last month.

Forty-eight per cent of entrepreneurs in May believe the general state of health of their business is good, versus 12 per cent who describe it as poor.  Both remain the same as in April.

The national Business Barometer index decreased a point in May to 58.2.  The provincial numbers were: PEI (75.0), BC (67.1), Ontario (65.8), Nova Scotia (63.9), Quebec (60.4), Manitoba (57.7), New Brunswick (57.0), Saskatchewan (51.5), Newfoundland (44.6) and Alberta (34.6).

The May 2016 findings are based on 684 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.  Data reflect responses received through to May 16.  Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Richard Truscott, Vice-President of BC and Alberta, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325.  To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national numbers, please call 416-222-8022. For more information about CFIB, visit cfib.ca.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in B.C.