Winnipeg, May 25, 2017 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows that small business optimism in Manitoba increased three points in May to an index of 66.4, compared to 63.5 in April. The Manitoba index now sits slightly above the national index of 66.0.
“After three straight months of declines, it’s encouraging to see optimism climb above the national index in May. Manitoba’s index is now almost nine points ahead of its May, 2016 index of 57.7,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Short-term hiring plans continue to improve, with 15 per cent of business owners looking to hire and eight per cent looking to lay off.”
Canada's small business optimism increased by another point and a half in May, bringing the CFIB’s monthly Business Barometer® Index to the 66.0 mark, the best level in two and a half years.
“Nationally, the Index has now recovered its losses from the resource price crunch of late 2014,” said Ted Mallett, Chief Economist at CFIB. “However, improvement was narrowly based regionally, largely coming from the West, and seasonal factors likely contributed to improvements in the Atlantic provinces.”
British Columbia (69.4) saw another increase in May, climbing to top spot in the country, while strong improvements in Alberta (61.9) and Manitoba (66.4) helped bolster the national confidence level. There was some pick-up in the Atlantic region, with Newfoundland & Labrador (45.3) and Prince Edward Island (67.9) making gains, though Nova Scotia (64.4) and New Brunswick (60.2) saw a slight fall back. Ontario (68.2) and Quebec (65.0) saw small slips, while Saskatchewan (49.1) saw a sharp decline.
Results and the full report are available at: Business Barometer.
Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for May:
- 40% of small businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (43% nationally); 11% say it is bad (11% nationally).
- 15% of Manitoba small businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months (21% nationally), and 8% plan to decrease employment (11% nationally).
- Insufficient domestic demand remains the main operating challenge (39%), followed by management skills/time constraints (33%), and shortage of skilled labour (28%).
- Major cost pressures for small business include: tax/regulatory costs (63%), wage costs (51%), and insurance costs (43%).
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 2017 findings are based on 673 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through May 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.8 per cent 19 times in 20.
To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba on the provincial results, please call 1 888-234-2232, 204-982-0817 or email [email protected]. 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 [email protected]. You may also follow Ted on Twitter @cfibeconomics.
Business Barometer® is a monthly publication of the CFIB and is a registered trademark.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region.