Business Barometer®: Small business confidence holds steady in June

June 28, 2018 – Small business confidence levels remained steady in June, following a sharp increase in May. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Business Barometer® 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.”

A record high of 47 per cent of owners say their businesses are in good shape compared to only 10 per cent who say their businesses are in bad shape. Full-time employment plans are also improving with 19 per cent planning to hire and only 9 per cent expecting to cut back on staffing numbers.

An index level between 65 and 70 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential and a majority of owners expect their business’s performance to be stronger in the next year.

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, Ontario and New Brunswick experienced confidence drops this month. Confidence in Newfoundland & Labrador, British Columbia and Manitoba remained steady but below the national average.

Industry results: Agriculture and natural resources lagging

All industries reported closely matched levels of confidence between 60 and 66 index points, except for agriculture and natural resources. Business owners cite the shortage of skilled labour as a major limitation on sales or production growth. The top cost constraints on business are taxes and regulation, fuel and energy, and wages.

Read the June Business Barometer®

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 +/- 3.9 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at