Business Barometer® Newfoundland and Labrador small business confidence steady in April

St. John’s, April 28, 2016 – According to the latest Business Barometer survey results released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador decreased a half point to 46.4 in April. 

“It has been tough for small business so far in 2016 and that is reflected in Newfoundland and Labrador’s business confidence,” says Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador for CFIB. “It remains to be seen what effect the provincial budget released in the middle of the month will have, but anecdotes from members in the past couple of weeks are not promising.” 

Entrepreneurs’ hiring intentions improved in April, rising 14 points as 27 per cent of respondents plan to add full-time staff. Businesses that expect to cut back on employees reduced two points to 18 per cent. 

In terms of their view about the general state of the economy, 54 per cent of entrepreneurs characterized it as “good” in April, up five points from March.  Nine per cent of the respondents in April described the general state of the economy as “bad”, an increase of one point from March. 

Insufficient domestic demand was identified by 45 per cent of entrepreneurs as the biggest challenge for small business in Newfoundland and Labrador. Seventy-one per cent of respondents stated tax and regulatory costs as the largest constraint. 

The national Business Barometer Index increased in April (59.2) compared to March (52.3).  Across Canada, entrepreneurs in Prince Edward Island (70.8) were the most optimistic about the economy and the future prospects for their business, followed by British Columbia (65.4), Nova Scotia (64.6), Ontario (62.6), Quebec (62.2), New Brunswick (57.5), Manitoba (54.0), Saskatchewan (48.8), Newfoundland and Labrador (46.4), and Alberta (28.6). 

More details about the Business Barometer are available at  To arrange an interview with Chief Economist, Ted Mallett, about the national results, please call 1-416-222-8022.  To speak with Vaughn Hammond, please call 753-7745. 

About the Business Barometer: 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 75 when the economy is growing at its potential. April 2016 findings are based on 672 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through April 18. Findings are considered accurate to +/- 3.8 per cent 19 times in 20. 

About CFIB: As Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™.  Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, including 2,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.