Business Barometer®: Clear skies for small business confidence in June

June 27, 2019 – Small businesses had a sunnier outlook in June, with confidence levels going up nearly two index points to 61.5 on the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Business Barometer®, the highest level since August 2018.

“We saw confidence increases in nearly all provinces this month,” said CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett. “Optimism levels are still behind what we saw in 2014 and have a way to go before they’re back to full health, but this month’s reading bodes well for long-term investment plans.”

Overall, 41 per cent of owners estimate their business is in a good state, compared to 13 per cent who say it is in a bad state. Hiring plans are light for this time of year, with 18 per cent of owners planning to add on full-time staff, but only 10 per cent indicated they plan to cut back, marking a sharp drop from last month.

An index level nearer to 65 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential. 

Provincial results: Optimism gains in nearly all provinces

Confidence improved in nine out of 10 provinces this month. Prince Edward Island remained the most upbeat at 68.4, followed by Quebec (67.6), Nova Scotia (63.9 – the only province to register a minor dip this month), and Ontario (62.6). Alberta posted another optimism jump in June, climbing 7.2 index points to 59.0. Saskatchewan (+5.4), Manitoba (+3.1) and New Brunswick (+2.5) also posted healthy index point gains to 54.5, 55.4 and 57.2 respectively. British Columbia (53.8) and Newfoundland & Labrador (50.0) posted more modest gains and trailed the rest of the country.

Industry results: Natural resources confidence rebounds

The natural resources sector posted a major confidence gain this month, gaining 12.9 index points to 59.1. Professional services (65.5), hospitality (63.3) and health services (62.0) were the most optimistic sectors. The agriculture sector remained stagnant this month at the lowest confidence level (47.0). Wholesale (57.6) and health services were the only sectors to post drops in confidence.

June 2019 findings are based on 711 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at