SME confidence on the rise


Good news, there’s good morale among Canadian entrepreneurs. Confidence levels of small business owners officially rose two points in August. This report was released by the Business Barometer of the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business). Results are reported by province and sector.

After a slight dip in July, entrepreneurs have regained faith in a potentially bright future since last month. The index measuring this confidence has in fact reached 65.5 out of 100 points in August, becoming one of the top 3 highest results reported this year. A rating higher than 50 indicates that the number of entrepreneurs anticipating stronger performance in the coming months outnumbers those expecting a weaker performance.


Optimistic entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is home to the most optimistic entrepreneurs with an index of 72 points in the province. Albertans are ranked second with 71 points. While confidence may be a bit lower in British Columbia, it still remains at 70 points for the 11th consecutive month. Business owners are also more positive in Ontario and Saskatchewan with an index at 65 points, which is slightly below the national average.

The index also rose to 63 points in New Brunswick. In Manitoba, however, entrepreneurs are more pessimistic than they were in July as the index fell to 63 points. Towards the end of the pack, Nova Scotia and Quebec each report 61 points. Prince Edward Island ranks last with 56.5 points, a significant decrease compared to results in previous months.


Business is in good shape for 42% of business owners.

Overall, the barometer reveals mostly positive indicators. As proof, 42% of Canadian small business owners believe their business is in good shape. Only 10% claim the opposite view. This report is one of the best since the 2008 recession. Recruiting estimates for full-time employment are relatively strong for the last quarter of the year and order books are filling up.

With regard to specific industries, business owners in manufacturing have the most confidence. The index is at 71.2 points in this sector. This is followed by professional and enterprise services at 69.7 points, and by healthcare and education in a tie with information, arts and recreation at 66.9 points. Retail is reported at 66.2, 5.3 points higher than wholesale which remains at 60.9. The personal services sector is at the bottom of the ranks north of 65 points with just 65.9. Confidence is much lower in transportation with 61.1 points, construction with 60.7, hospitality with 60.6 and agriculture with 58.9. Natural resources come in last place with an indicator of 59.7 points.


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