Slightly renewed optimism by Canadian SMEs in October

After a lacklustre spring, SMEs are regaining some optimism. This is what the Business Barometer Index of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) calculated in October.


The confidence index of Canadian employers increased 0.5 points last month, after a relatively sluggish spring. It rose to 65 points, compared to 64.5 in September.


Newfoundland and Labrador in the lead

Provincially, the index of confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador increased 4 points to reach 76.4%, placing it in the lead of the standings. At 70.7%, British Columbia climbed onto the second step of the podium. There was also an increase in Ontario where the index now amounts to 66.6%. In Manitoba, 62.4%, and in New Brunswick, 57% of employers viewing the future positively.

Elsewhere, although the indices for Alberta and Saskatchewan declined, they are nonetheless among the highest in the country, at 70.4% and 69.4% respectively. In addition, a slight decrease was noted in Nova Scotia where only 60.1% of SME leaders remain confident and in Quebec, where the figure fell to 57.8%. The index remained unchanged in Prince Edward Island, steady at 49%, and as such bringing up the rear.


Reserves in transport and finance

Regarding fields of activity, entrepreneurs are looking to the future with the highest hopes in professional services, manufacturing and natural resources. On the other hand, there is much more reservation in the fields of transport, finance, real estate and the retail trade, with an index of confidence below the national average.


Finally, the other indicators measured by the Business Barometer held steady. Hiring prospects remain unchanged and are in line with levels that are normal for this time of year. As evidence, 18% of business leaders plan to increase their staff. 41% of them consider their business situation to be rather good and foresee an improvement in orders and accounts receivable. Finally, they foresee annual price increases of 1.5% and salary increases of 1.7%.


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