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BC small business optimism continues to fall in August

BC entrepreneurs’ confidence falls to sixth in provincial rankings

VANCOUVER, August 31, 2017 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism fell 2.6 points in August to 63.3. 

Two months ago, BC entrepreneurs were ranked the most optimistic in the country. Since then, BC’s rank has fallen to sixth in the country. While the Province still maintains a lead over the national index (59.8), the gap has narrowed significantly from July (5.2) to August (3.5).

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.

“While it is discouraging to see business confidence decline even further in August, BC entrepreneurs remain relatively optimistic.” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President for BC and AB. “British Columbia’s confidence index is no longer above the 65 point threshold that reflects a strong, growing economy. The new government must deliver a supportive policy environment for entrepreneurs in order to sustain small business optimism and promote economic growth.” added Truscott.

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer 

Overall hiring intentions were down in August. Twenty per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, down three points from July.  In contrast, nine percent are looking to cut back, a one point increase over the month before.

Fifty-two per cent of entrepreneurs in August believe the general state of health of their business is good, seeing no change from the previous month. That compares to just six per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, increasing one point from July.

The national Business Barometer index in August was 59.8, down 0.5 points from July. The provincial numbers were: PEI (72.7), Quebec (71.5), New Brunswick (67.6), Nova Scotia (66.7), Manitoba (65.2), BC (63.3), Ontario (56.9), Alberta (57.8), Newfoundland (54.5) and Saskatchewan (52.9).

The August 2017 findings are based on 706 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to August 21. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Richard Truscott, Vice-President for BC and AB, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected] after 8:30 AM PST.  To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit

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.

August 31, 2017

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