Business Barometer ®: Confidence up again in May

Toronto, May 25, 2017 - Canada's small business optimism increased by another point and a half in May, bringing the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s (CFIB) Business Barometer® to the 66.0 mark, the best level in two and a half years.

Nationally, the Index has now recovered its loses 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 Alberta (61.9) and Manitoba (66.4) helped bolster the national condfidence 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.

Industry results are in line with past trends, showing relative buoyancy with financial, professional and healthcare services all above the 70 mark. Manufacturing (68.9) and hospitality (67.4) are also running above average. Businesses in agriculture, natural resources and construction are not as upbeat, but within historical norms.

“Other business health indicators continue to be positive,” added Mallett. “Employment plans are normal for this time of year and we’re closing in on the post-recession peak for business owners reporting that their businesses are in good shape.”

Join Ted Mallett for a fifteen minute interactive web barometer briefing followed by a Q&A session! Ted will highlight specific areas of the report and answer any questions you may have about CFIB’s Business Barometer. Join us for a Live Barometer Briefing – May 25, 2017 @ 10am EST.

On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. One normally sees an index level of 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.

Read the May Business Barometer.

To arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, please contact Ryan Mallough at 416-222-8022, or

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.