Manitoba small biz confidence unchanged in February

Winnipeg, February 25, 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 61.5 in February, compared to an index of 61.4 in January. This index level is below Manitoba’s five year average of 63.5 and above the national index of 54.7.

“Manitoba small business optimism remained constant in February, but is still below the index levels (65-70) normally associated when an economy is growing at its potential,” noted Elliot Sims, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba.

Nationally, small business confidence is also virtually unchanged in February with CFIB's Business Barometer® Index posting a barely perceptible 0.3-point gain to 54.7. The index remains more than 13 points below its most recent October 2014 peak.

Alberta's index dropped further into record low territory at only 26.7, while Saskatchewan's and Newfoundland a Labrador's also fell to 52.4 and 53.5 respectively. Optimism in the remaining seven provinces, however, is noticeably better. Ontario jumped two points to 60.8, while Quebec climbed to 66.3, one of its best readings since 2013. Nova Scotia fell two points for the second month in a row, but its 66.9 mark is still the strongest in Canada. New Brunswick’s confidence slipped to 61.0. Prince Edward Island leapt five points to 65.5.

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.

February 2016 findings are based on 723 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through February 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 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.