Business Barometer®: Manitoba small business optimism holds steady in June

Winnipeg, June 28, 2018 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest monthly Business Barometer®, which reveals optimism among Manitoba’s small business owners held steady in June with an index of 59.3, unchanged from May, and remains below the national average index of 62.2. 

“Manitoba's small businesses kept their optimism in check in June, with the index remaining unchanged at 59.3,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Short-term hiring plans remained weak with 15 per cent of business owners planning on hiring staff, while 12 per cent are foreseeing layoffs. However, the state-of-business indicator rebounded from its sharp decline in May, with 43 per cent of the respondents now saying their businesses are in good shape, while 9 per cent reporting that their firms are in poor shape.”

Nationally, small business confidence levels remained steady in June, following a sharp increase in May. The index came in at 62.2 this month--off only 0.3 points from May.

“The current confidence levels we’re observing speak of a modestly growing economy, but one that is still under its potential,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s Vice President and Chief Economist. “Four provinces were at the higher end of the confidence scale, four were at the lower end and two held steady.”

Provincial results: PEI and Quebec continue to lead

Prince Edward Island and Quebec remained the most optimistic provinces at 74.5 and 72.8 index points respectively, with Quebec gaining 4.7 points over last month’s results. Alberta experienced a healthy gain of 3.3 points to 56.5. Saskatchewan (44.8), Ontario (62.4) and New Brunswick (59.0) experienced confidence drops this month. Confidence in Newfoundland & Labrador (50.0), British Columbia (58.8) and Manitoba (59.3) remained steady but below the national average.

Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for June:

  • 43% of businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (47% nationally); 9% say it is bad (10% nationally);
  • 15% plan to increase employment in the next 3-4 months (19% nationally) and 12% of Manitoba businesses plan to decrease full-time employment (9% nationally);
  • Shortage of skilled labour is the main operating challenge (33%), followed by insufficient domestic demand shortage of skilled labour (31%) and management skills, time constraints (31%);
  • Major cost pressures for small business include: tax, regulatory costs (67%), wage costs (59%), fuel, energy costs (43%) and insurance costs (41%). 

Read the June Business Barometer®

Measured on a scale of 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. June 2018 findings are based on 798 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.5 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 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. 

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every sector and region