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Small business optimism sees slight decline in November

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Despite dip, BC entrepreneurs still second most confident in country

VANCOUVER, November 30, 2017 – The latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal British Columbia’s small business optimism decreased 1.1 points in November to 60.8.

Despite the drop, the November results continue BC’s climb up the provincial rankings since other provinces near the top have seen larger declines. Since September, BC business optimism has increased from fifth to second most confident entrepreneurs. However, BC’s lead over the national index (59.3) shrunk to just 1.5 points in November.

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

“Small business confidence across British Columbia remains relatively healthy, despite the small dip in November,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “However, the index has now remained below the 65 point threshold that reflects a vibrant, growing economy for four months in a row. The provincial government needs to be careful it does not take any action that further erodes business confidence.”

To view the full report, please visit http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/cfib

BC hiring intentions were up in November. Twenty-one per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, up one point from October. In contrast, just seven per cent are looking to cut back, a one point decrease from last month.

Fifty per cent of entrepreneurs in November believe the general state of health of their business is good, representing a 3 point decrease from October. This compares to nine per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, a two point gain from the previous month.

The national Business Barometer index in November was 59.3, up 2.2 points from October. The provincial numbers were: Quebec (65.4), BC (60.8), Nova Scotia (59,9), Ontario (58.3), Alberta (56.2), PEI (55.8), Manitoba (55.3), Saskatchewan (52.3), New Brunswick (51.4), and Newfoundland (49.0). The November 2017 findings are based on 698 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received through to November 20. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

To arrange an interview with Richard Truscott about the BC results, please call 604-684-5325 or email [email protected] 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.ca.

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.