Business optimism in Prince Edward Island dropped in December (63.2) but is holding above the national average (60.2). The state of business health indicators is one of the strongest in the country with a majority of business owners reporting that their firms are in good health. Prince Edward Island had a strong 2016 and its index was consistently one of the highest in Canada.
“In spite of a highly unpredictable year, Prince Edward Island businesses remained consistently optimistic in 2016,” said Jordi Morgan, CFIB’s Vice President, Atlantic. “In fact, the general state of business health ended on a high note also with 59 per cent of our respondents saying their firms are in good health, while only 12 per cent consider their business in poor shape.”
Across Canada, 2016 is ending on a more optimistic note for small business owners. CFIB’s Business Barometer climbed to 60.7 in December. It is only a 1.3-point gain from November, and not stellar by historical norms, but the latest result is the best reading we've seen since March 2015.
Although modest, the improvements are broad based. The index improved or held steady in 9 of 10 provinces. British Columbia business owner are the most optimistic, with an index level of 69.5, followed by those in Manitoba (66.7), Quebec (65.8) and Nova Scotia (64.9). Only half a step behind are business owners in Ontario (64.2), Prince Edward Island (63.2) and New Brunswick (60.4). Optimism in Alberta (43.4), Saskatchewan (54.0) and Newfoundland & Labrador (47.7) continues to lag, but improvements there are still notable over November results.
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.
December 2016 findings are based on 576 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through December 15. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 4.1 per cent 19 times in 20.
For more information, contact Jordi Morgan, Vice-president Atlantic, at 902-420-1997 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.