Business Barometer®: BC small business optimism dips down in August

Small business owners still feeling uncertain for the future; CFIB business barometer falls 0.2 points.

VANCOUVER, August 30, 2018 – This month small business optimism in British Columbia fell 0.2 points reaching an index of 55.9, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Business Barometer.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level of between 65 and 75 means that the economy is growing at its potential.

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Forty-three per cent of business owners describe their business health as ‘good’, representing no change from July’s results. However, the number of business owners that report their business health as ‘bad’ increased by 2 points to 9 per cent. Consequently, those who report their business health as ‘satisfactory’ fell 2 points to 48 per cent.

 “Since the New Year, the business barometer in British Columbia has been trending downward. For August we see another dip in small business confidence,” said Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “As summer comes to an end, government at all levels will need to revisit plans to support local business communities if we are to see optimism begin climbing up.”, added Protzer.

Input costs causing the greatest difficulties for business owners in British Columbia this August are taxes and regulatory costs (up 1.9 points to 64.7 per cent), wage costs (up 0.3 points to 51.9 per cent), and fuel and energy costs (up 1.5 points to 4.5 per cent).

The national Business Barometer index for August was 61.6, up 4.8 points from July. The other provincial numbers were: Prince Edward Island (74.0), Quebec (71.8), Nova Scotia (66.9), Manitoba (62.4), New Brunswick (58.0), Saskatchewan (57.9), Ontario (57.6), Newfoundland and Labrador (56.5), and Alberta (53.9)

August 2018 findings are based on 768 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through August 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.5 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email after 8:30 AM PST.  To interview Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 416-222-8022. For more information, visit .

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in B.C.