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Manitoba small biz optimism and hiring plans increase again in June

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According to the latest monthly Business Barometer®, optimism among small business owners in Manitoba increased 0.7 points in June to an index of 67.1, compared to 66.4 in May. The Manitoba index now sits well above the national index of 60.9.

Short-term hiring plans continue to improve, with 18 per cent of business owners looking to hire and seven per cent looking to lay off. An increase from last month, 44 per cent of business owners say their businesses are in good shape.

Manitoba’s index is over nine points ahead of its June 2016 index of 57.8 and also above Manitoba’s five year average (61.2).

Canada's small business optimism dropped by more than five points in June to the 60.9 mark, according to the CFIB’s Business Barometer®.

June’s big shift is almost entirely localized to a 10-point drop in Ontario. Index levels often vary for purely statistical reasons, but the downdraft in Ontario is likely policy based. The sweeping labour standards legislation announced in late May appears to be adding considerable uncertainty over future operating conditions there.

Ontario’s index now sits at 58.0, third lowest in the country after Saskatchewan (51.8) and Newfoundland and Labrador (48.2), both of which saw slight improvements in June. Businesses in British Columbia (69.5) are still the most optimistic in the country, with Prince Edward Island (67.5) and Manitoba (67.1) close behind. Quebec (65.8)saw a small gain, as did New Brunswick (63.6), while Nova Scotia (63.5) saw a slight dip. After six consecutive months of gains, Alberta (61.7) held even in June. Results and the full report are available at: Business Barometer.

Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for June:

  • 44% of small businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (40% nationally); 6% say it is bad (10% nationally).
  • 18% of Manitoba small businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months (16% nationally), and 7% plan to decrease employment (11% nationally).
  • Insufficient domestic demand remains the main operating challenge (38%), followed by management skills/time constraints (31%), and shortage of skilled labour (26%).
  • Major cost pressures for small business include: tax/regulatory costs (62%), wage costs (50%), and insurance costs (41%).

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. June 2017 findings are based on 726 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 19. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.