Manitoba small biz confidence edges higher in May

CFIB releases pre-budget priorities for 2016 Manitoba Budget to spur small business growth

Winnipeg, May 26, 2016 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows small business optimism in Manitoba rose to an index of 57.7 in May compared to an index of 54.0 in April. This index level is below Manitoba’s five year average of 63.5 and below the national index of 58.2.

“It’s encouraging to see Manitoba’s small business optimism edge higher in May, and full-time hiring plans remain positive, with 24 per cent of owners expecting to add staff in the next three months,” noted Elliot Sims, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “However, with only one third of small business owners saying their business is in good shape, entrepreneurs will be looking to the provincial budget for a clear vision to improve Manitoba’s economy.”

Specifically, small business owners expect to see the following four immediate actions in next week’s budget to create a positive economic vision for the province:

  • Index the personal income tax system to inflation;
  • Raise the small business corporate income tax threshold to the provincial standard of $500,000 (currently at $450,000);
  • Ensure provincial government spending increases by no more than the sustainable rate of 2.7 per cent; and
  • Outline a clear plan to eliminate the deficit by 2020.

Nationally, Canadian small business sentiment eased downward in May, giving back some of the improvement noted the month previously. CFIB's Business Barometer® Index dropped by one point to 58.2 in May from April's 59.2, but it is still much improved from levels in the first three months of 2016.

British Columbia gained two points in May, hitting 67.1. Alberta registered its second consecutive increase, climbing six points to 34.6, showing improvement, but still having the lowest score in the country. Saskatchewan rose to 51.5. Ontario continued its upward trend, gaining three points to reach 65.8, its best score in more than a year, while Quebec saw its third month of decline in a row, falling two points to 60.4. Newfoundland and Labrador fell to 44.6. Nova Scotia slipped to 63.9. New Brunswick’s confidence levels held steady at 57.0. Prince Edward Island leads the country for the second month in a row, jumping five points to 75.0.

Results and the full report are available here.

Measured on a scale of 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

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 May 16. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Elliot Sims, Director of Provincial Affairs, Manitoba on the provincial results, please call 1 888-234-2232, 204-982-0817 or email You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, Vice-President & Chief Economist on the national results please call (416) 222-8022 or email You may also follow Ted on Twitter @cfibeconomics.

Business Barometer® is a monthly publication of the CFIB and is a registered trademark.