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BC small business optimism stays steady in June

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Province’s entrepreneurs most confident in country for second straight month

VANCOUVER, June 29, 2017 – According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism stayed steady in June, rising 0.1 points to 69.5. 

For the second month in a row, BC entrepreneurs are the most optimistic in the country, slightly above second-place Prince Edward Island (67.5). BC’s lead over the national index (60.9) continued to widen, now at 8.6 points and matching the highest reading over the past two years.

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.

“It is a great sign that despite the current political uncertainty, BC entrepreneurs remain optimistic. After starting the year with some signs of weakness, BC small business confidence index is now riding high,” said Aaron Aerts, BC economist. “Let’s hope in the weeks and months ahead the political parties stay focused on developing policies that support BC small business."

To view the full report, please visit Business Barometer

Hiring intentions were slightly more positive in June. Twenty-nine per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up a point from May.  In contrast, seven percent are looking to cut back, a one point decrease over the month before.

Entrepreneurs overall outlook about the health of their business also shifted in a positive direction in June. Fifty-three per cent of entrepreneurs in June believe the general state of health of their business is good, up four points from the previous month. That compares to just five per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, down two points from May.

The national Business Barometer index in June was 60.9, down 5.1 points from May. The provincial numbers were: BC (69.5), PEI (67.5), Manitoba (67.1), Quebec (65.8), New Brunswick (63.6), Nova Scotia (63.5), Alberta (61.7), Ontario (58.0), Saskatchewan (51.8) and Newfoundland (48.2).

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

To arrange an interview with Aaron Aerts, BC economist, who will be available for comment after 8.30am PST, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected].   To interview Chief Economist Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, 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.