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Moncton, 30 June 2016–Business optimism in New Brunswick gained a lot of traction in June. The Business Barometer index increased by almost 8 points, to reach 64.9 —a level not seen since early 2015. Short term hiring plans are positive with 21 per cent of business owners planning to hire full-time staff and 10 per cent expecting to cut staffing. Tax and regulatory costs are—by far—the main cost constraint on small firms.
Canada’s small businesses grew a little more confident in June. CFIB's Business Barometer® Index rose almost two points to hit 60.0. This level is still low by historical standards, but it is the highest reading in just over a year.
New Brunswick has bucked the Atlantic downward trend, and had seen a strong performance in June. Retail sales could explain in good part this optimism as consumers were trying to beat the HST increase", said Jordi Morgan, CFIB’s Vice-president for Atlantic.
Overall, business owners posted improvements in 7 of 10 provinces. Leading the pack with an index score of 69.3 are those in British Columbia, followed closely by the 68.0 from Prince Edward Island businesses. Provinces at the other end of spectrum—Alberta (42.5), Newfoundland and Labrador (45.8) and Saskatchewan (54.8)—all registered much-welcome improvements this month. Optimism leapt in New Brunswick (64.9) and there were modest improvements in Quebec (61.6) and Manitoba (57.8). Declines in sentiment in Ontario and Nova Scotia (both at 61.5) helped restrain the national average.
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 70 means the economy is growing at its potential.
June 2016 findings are based on 743 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through June 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.
For more information contact Jordi Morgan, Vice-president Atlantic, at 506-855-2526 or Ted Mallett, Chief Economist and Vice-president at 416-222-8022.
Business Barometer is a monthly publication of the CFIB and is a registered trademark