Manitoba small biz confidence holds steady in April

Winnipeg, April 28, 2016 - Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows small business optimism in Manitoba held steady at an index of 54.0 in April compared to an index of 54.8 in March. This index level is still below Manitoba’s five year average of 63.5 and below the national index of 59.2.

“Strengthening national business sentiment is a good sign for the economy, but that rebound has yet to reach Manitoba,” noted Elliot Sims, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Provincially, Manitoba small business optimism remained relatively unchanged in April with optimism levels far below those seen when our economy grows at its potential.”

Nationally, Canadian small business sentiment turned definitively upward in April. CFIB's Business Barometer® Index climbed nearly seven points in the month, rising to 59.2—its highest reading since June of last year. One month of data can often show spikes, but the size of the increase suggests the long-awaited normalization of sentiment has begun. Sentiment also rose in 6 of the 10 provinces.

British Columbia climbed three points in April, reaching 65.4, good for second highest in the country. Alberta finally stopped its four-month slide, increasing two points to 28.6, though still has the lowest confidence in the country by far. Saskatchewan saw a small improvement to 48.8. Ontario jumped five points to 62.6, while Quebec slipped three to 62.2, still above the national average. Newfoundland and Labrador fell to a new provincial record low at 46.4. Nova Scotia fell a point to 64.6. New Brunswick’s confidence increased four points to 57.5. Prince Edward Island rose to 70.8, good for best in the country. 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.

April 2016 findings are based on 672 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through April 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.8 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.