Business Barometer Climbs
Prince George, B.C. – The Canadian federation of Independent Business says 2016 is ending on a more optimistic note for small business owners.
CFIB’s Business Barometer climbed to 60.7 in December. That’s up 1.3 from last month, and the best reading the barometer has shown since March of 2015. On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.
The index usually registers between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.
British Columbia business owners 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.
The CFIB says there are some other positive signs from the December survey:
41% of owners say their businesses are in good shape.
54% say they expect to spend on capital goods in the next few months.
But the news on the jobs front is not as positive with only 13% saying they expect to hire full time workers over the next few months, and 16% who indicated they expect they will reduce their work force.