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Business Barometer®: BC small business optimism on a downward rollercoaster ride

VANCOUVER, September 26, 2019 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for British Columbia continued its rise-and-fall pattern since the beginning of the year, slipping 2.2 points in September, according to the latest survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The BC small business confidence index now sits at 53.1 points, tying Saskatchewan with the second lowest index across Canada. The BC index is now 6.2 points below the Canadian average (59.3).

“Small business optimism has shown a wave-like rise and fall this year. However, the overall trend shows is down, indicating confidence among BC’s entrepreneurs is slowly eroding,” says Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “Increasing wage costs and taxes continue to cause small business owner great difficulty. This year’s downward trend is certainly a red flag that government policy at all levels needs to better support local business and promote their growth,” adds Protzer.

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 that the economy is growing at its potential.

To view the full report, please visit 

The provincial numbers for September were: Quebec (68.8), Nova Scotia (68.5), New Brunswick (63.7), PEI (62.9), Manitoba (62.6), Ontario (60.5), Alberta (54.1), Saskatchewan (53.1), British Columbia (53.1), and Newfoundland & Labrador (52.6).

September 2019 findings are based on 642 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from September 2nd to the 19. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.9 per cent 19 times in 20.   
To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected] after 8:30 AM PT. To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit

September 26, 2019

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Topics in this Article: Economic Indicators

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