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October 27, 2017 3:40 pm

Business Confidence Dips in B.C.

Sunday, September 3, 2017 @ 6:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – For the second straight month, the  Business Barometer  has slipped in B.C. 

According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), BC’s small business optimism  has fell 2.6 points in August to 63.3

Two months ago, BC entrepreneurs were ranked the most optimistic in the country. Since then, BC’s rank has fallen to sixth in the country. While the Province still maintains a lead over the national index (59.8), the gap has narrowed significantly from July (5.2) to August (3.5).

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 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

“While it is discouraging to see business confidence decline even further in August, BC entrepreneurs remain relatively optimistic” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President for BC and AB. “British Columbia’s confidence index is no longer above the 65 point threshold that reflects a strong, growing economy.”   He says  the new government “must deliver a supportive policy environment for entrepreneurs in order to sustain small business optimism and promote economic growth”.

Overall hiring intentions were down in August. Twenty per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, down three points from July.  In contrast, nine percent are looking to cut back, a one point increase over the month before.

Fifty-two per cent of entrepreneurs in August believe the general state of health of their business is good, seeing no change from the previous month. That compares to just six per cent of BC business owners who describe their business’ health as poor, increasing one point from July.

The national Business Barometer index in August was 59.8, down 0.5 points from July.


Overall hiring intentions were down in August. Twenty per cent of small business owners plan to increase full-time staff in the next three months, down three points from July. In contrast, nine percent are looking to cut back, a one point increase over the month before.


Generally speaking, aren’t hiring intentions based on whether you need staff? And wouldn’t this be based on whether or not your current operations can meet demand?

Is a corner store running out and hiring 3 more people if they can manage their current operations with their existing compliment of employees? Is a garage going to find an additional mechanic if they don’t have more cars coming in that need repaired? Is a painting company going to bring in an extra crew to sit around and not paint houses?

Does it even really matter if business owners are confident or not? At the end of the day, aren’t most hiring decisions ultimately linked to customer demand and whether a market exists for the product or service being offered?

    I think you’re right, NMG. It’s really all linked to actual consumer demand, first, and whether or not that consumer demand can be made fully ‘effective’.

    And it’s with that latter the real problem lies. We seem to assume that if businesses hired everyone who is unemployed then all our economic problems would vanish.

    This pre-supposes that the total amount of incomes paid out in each and every pay period would be sufficient to fully liquidate the total of all the business costs incurred in that SAME pay period. And no one seems to ever want to question whether they would be.

If this so-called government lasts another year it will be even worse.

Nothing new when the NDP is elected.

NMG makes some valid points. Its seems these points went right over the heads of duffer and isthisreallife. Seems they took the line of least resistance and blamed the current Government for all the so called problems of the Province.

Does anyone else think that the wildfires of this summer and fall will have consequences for next year? I suppose the NDP are responsible for these wildfires. I suppose the Liberals are responsible for the wildfires.

This is opinion-based propaganda. Wasn’t there just an article on 250 News in the last week saying BC has the most job vacancies in the country?

Fake news at its best.

So the province has been on fire for 2 months and sales are slow…I am guessing the %40. Loss in tourism from the fires has nothing to do with it.

No it’s all politics…lol

I see you people have your thinking caps on this morning. A 40% loss in tourism is a big loss. We have had to forego our annul visit to PG this summer.

    Are keeping your head low down there in the shooting gallery.

Politics or not, indicators are indicators either way.

The business barometer is a leading indicator. In fact, it is only one leading indicator.

Leading indicators are only as good as their predictive abilities.

It is the lagging indicators which show how good the leading indicators are.

The system has been used since at least the 1950’s by OECD and other countries. The correlation between the leading (before the fact) confidence indicators and the lagging (after the fact) economic indicators varies. In other words, how good an indicator is the leading indicator? It has been found that respondents are over-pessimistic. One of the reasons may very well be that those business leaders who have been consistently successful are cautious.

We must remember that while local governments may change and local government policies may change, we live in a world economy. Softwood Lumber Agreement, NAFTA, pipelines, wildfires, North Korea, etc. are issues which are on the minds of business leaders, yet they are not issues which the BC Government can do much about. Most are more a reflection of the Government of the USA and its leadership.

Maybe someone else can dig up a graph which superimposes the leading indicator of confidence over the lagging indicator of business activity to show how valid the leading indicator has been in BC.

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” – Niels Bohr .

    I predict that Columbus will discover the Americas…….

    I also predict that he may have thought he was the first one, but he wasn’t.


      Did you really LOL at your own awful post, or are you hoping for an LOL? That was cringeworthy.

    The thing is, the business confidence survey is not only an indicator of what the future MAY hold. It is a survey of actual CURRENT business confidence.

    Some people have chosen to believe that it is a predictive indicator.

    I want to see how often that has been proven to be accurate, and the degree of accuracy, in the BC case.

    Can’t find it ….. probably need to look at some economy student’s PHd thesis for that.


Go to the site above to see three leading indicators which show OECD world confidence indicators, including consumer confidence.

The Conference Board of Canada uses a Composite economic index

With all the money they poured into the government they wanted , one can certainly see the power of their collective predictive ability .

    Ahhh, so you are assuming that business people are BCLiberal voters.

    Got proof of that?

      Some of us are anything but BC Liberal Party supporters. And while we may regard the NDP as a government that will likely fall far short of doing what should be done for the benefit of all, the previous mob simply had to go.

      The donor lists are easy to read .

      The donor lists are easy to read . I too vote with my dollars .

How much hope was relying on LNG ? Huge loss to BC

    Only dreamers were relying on that.

I’m not a NDP lover, but the new leader deserves a fair chance at running his government. He could surprise us all. Time will tell.

For those that predict choppy waters ahead for the new government perhaps are using the promises the ndp used to get elected in 1990 as leading indicators and what actually happened to government finance and the provincial economy overall as lagging indicators. Years of provincial deficits in the 90’s vs balanced or surplus budgets for the last 6 years.

Don’t have time today to do that comparison but a quick search did turn up this decade by decade model.


Death to all shill organizations with not for profit status! Get your hands out of our pockets, there are too many in there already.

The news media lie and get half truths on basically every story they write. They constantly make simple mistakes which put everything into question, and this includes opinion 250 news.

    If you are going to throw out wild accusations like that at least have the decency to provide some clear examples to back up your case.

    In today’s world of fractured media people are beginning to only go to news sources that deliver the news from the exact same prospective that they hold. Any thing that strays from this narrow point of view is labeled “fake news” as proven on a daily basis by the moron in the Whites only House.

    There are posters to this site that frequently parrot garbage, more often than not hate filled, from conspiracy sites that are literally one click away from alien lizard people among us and coast to coast underground high speed military trains that are somehow connected to Wal Marts.

    Deductive reasoning skills seem to be a vanishing trait where people can receive news from a number of sources and decide for themselves where the truth lies.

    The biggest problem as I see it is that when people get their information from sources on the fringe they tend to keep diverting further and further from the norm. One has to look no further than the current rise of neo fascism, white supremacy and nazism down south.

    Those nut jobs might only start with prejudices, disgusting as they might be, but as they delve deeper into sites like The Storm and The Daily Caller are radicalized into those we see on the news shouting “blood and soil” and “jews will not replace us” . Thankfully those two sites can no longer find anyone to host them although they might reappear on the Dark Web.

      I was writing mine as you posted yours …. saw it afterwards …. bang on!!!!

      One thing I forgot to mention is that the terms “main stream media” and “lame stream media” are no different than the term “fake news”. If you can’t disprove the facts of the message go after the messenger.

      So you are against free speach as well as your ‘critical theory’ marxist teaching against western values. Must be educated in the Frankfurt school of teaching.

      I just took a look at the Daily Caller you cited in your post. Read an article exposing how the antifa is being lead by public school teachers pushing marxism through violence and hate from their positions of trust in teaching our youth. How they need to destroy our history so we are dumbed down enough as a society to make a marxist society possible… not far off from what Sparrow esposes, so little wonder they are on your book burning list.

      ht tp://dailycaller.com/2017/09/01/public-school-teachers-behind-violent-antifa-group/

      BTW google is the new totalitarian threat to society with their near monopoly control over information and social engineering. A marxists dream come true.

      Gawd are you really that simple? Read one article from a site that aligns with your twisted view of the world and accept it as fact, no questions asked. Thanks for helping me prove my point.

      When you are driving your chip truck around in circles this week it might be a good idea to go in the opposite direction than normal. That way you won’t be so wound up by the end of the week and your Friday rants might stick to the web page a little longer or maybe you post them in disappearing ink so the “deep state” cannot track you.

      Is free speach anything like free speech? I ask this as you profess to be a man of letters,Eagleone.ctd, and would know.

      Perhaps you could regale us with the story of the English lit class where one of the assigned books was so horrible it gave the women folk the vapors…oh my!

      Never did get the title of that tome but if I was to guess it was one that had murder, fratricide, infanticide, stoning,racists, sexists, homo-phobics with begatting and begetting all over the place. I think it is out in paperback now but don’t remember the title off hand. Starts with “The” I think.

      Book burning list? Where did you get that loopy idea?

      I have never had a book held up at the border and not allowed to enter the country by Canada Customs because of the hate filled content. Can you say the same? My memory says you cannot!

      Sparrow:- “In today’s world of fractured media people are beginning to only go to news sources that deliver the news from the exact same prospective that they hold.”
      “Prospective”? I think you mean ‘perspective’, don’t you?

      How is this any different from the way it’s always been? In years gone by when newspapers were the main means of disseminating the news, the major Vancouver daily newspapers did their reporting as per their political alignment ~ The Sun favouring the Liberals; The Province, the Conservatives. People subscribed to them based on their political bias.

      We’re supposed to be a ‘free country’, as is the USA. That certainly should enable people to decide for themselves what ‘news’ they want to read, should it not?

      We have universal suffrage ~ there is very little ‘qualification’ now for people to vote compared to what was once the case. So we assume that people are smart enough to make up their own minds as to whom they want in government, and what will be the policy of the majority, and on what seems to be accurate so far as the ‘news’ they get its concerned. And what does not.

      Sparrow you are a real dimwit typical government employee. Demand clear examples in your response and in the next post rant on about a clearly fake news poll, but say can’t remember where you read the fake news or how even to find it. You are hypocritical and contradict yourself all the time to whatever fits your bias at the time. Time to turn the CNN off and get their didgit out of your ear.

      So you are shooting the messanger rather than disputing the content? How about it? Hard to criticize your fellow antifa marxists.

      When you advocate banning a web site because you don’t share a viewpoint, then yes you are a modern day book burner. All you have is insults and innuendo, lacking any moral scruples what so ever.

      The only banned took I have is ‘On Thermonuclear War’ by Khan (can’t recall his first name). He developed America’s first nuclear weapons and later regretted his role, so wrote a book on how no one wins a nuclear war… the deep state banned the book on national security grounds for over 40-years because they didn’t think the public could handle that kind of information. I had another on the JFK assassination that was temporarily banned for the same reason.

      The english is bad because I am writting from a touch screen cell phone with auto correct turned off and have to post before the page reload wipes it alll out…..

      Sparrow you should read this article. Article is just in time for all the mind melds starting school year.

      ht tps://www.steynonline.com/8063/the-coming-terror

    Where did you get that notion from when reading this article?

    As it says, “According to the latest monthly Business Barometer survey”. Then it goes on and gives some of the info disseminated by the CFIB.

    Did they represent that in an erroneous fashion?

    Did they lie about it?

    They only thing they failed to do is educate the reader about what that all means.

    To me, that is not a failure on their part. It is part of what the general population these days ought to know. If they do not, then they are commenting with any knowledge. That is getting to be more and more common as access to commenting through the social media is becoming fashionable.

    I call it the Trump era; an era in which opportunists like Trump can sway the population by talking at the same dumbed-down level as the general population.

    Don’t blame the media for your ignorance. Blame yourself.

      The sad part is that I saw the results of a fairly big survey where a good portion of those Americans surveyed did not recognize the name Robert Mueller or know of the investigation that he is doing. Can’t recall the exact number but the 40% range seems to ring a bell.

      Sadder still I would bet a vast majority would know who was kicked off the reality show de jour. So the base line for being dumbed down is already pretty low:(

      Robert Muller should be in prision with James Commey for treason in the coverup of 9/11 and the attempted political coup of a sitting American president. I think he is 6-months away from reality coming back to haunt him. The noose is tightening around that deep state operative and his CIA minions.

      I think former FBI assistant director Kallstrom is spot on in calling them out as outragous criminals that have tarnished the image of the FBI.

    Need a new search engine? Try this one to get real news not propoganda by the monopoly stream media.

    ht tp://goodgopher.com/#

      If enough people swith it will blunt the monopoly on information the big five tech giants are trying to impose on those looking for truth, diversity, and opinions other than that approved by the marxist censoring deep state.

      Nice try…look at the list of independent news sources. ….. then try ‘trump’in the mainstream search …..one Fox news after another.

      Talk about controlled search engines!!!!!

      Eagleone at his finest….or is it worst….

      Its not the only search engine… just shows that google banning web sites is only taking from their own market share.

      I also use
      ht tps://duckduckgo.com/
      as a great search engine that doesn’t track its users to sell their information for profit.


      “To stop Google from tracking you, open the menu button up top,

      then Activity controls from the dropdown menu.

      There you’ll find six sections:
      Web & App Activity,
      Location History,
      YouTube Search History,
      YouTube Watch History,
      Device Information, and
      Voice and Audio Activity.


      You are welcome.

      I just went in to my activity report on google.

      There was still some info hanging around from March of this year and earlier.

      I used the delete everything option …..

      No more activity sown in the following categories:

      – Web & App Activity

      – Voice & Audio Activity

      – Device Information

      – YouTube Watch History

      – YouTube Search History

      You can review privacy settings with the Privacy Checkup.

      BTW, they have to do that to meet with Canadian privacy regulations

      Click on “privacy” at the bottom of your browser page.

      I still use google obviusly like everyone else. Mostly just on my desktop, so always a good reminder to go back and look at something like that. I am not sure I ever have…. just becoming more aware of this issue recently.

I think this is easy to explain when BC has the highest small business percentage of the economy in Canada and the small business is facing huge taxation uncertainty with the federal liberals plan to change the tax code for small business enterprises to raise more tax revenue. Its a huge issue… probably the biggest in a decade or more for small business.

The only surprise here is that confidence didn’t drop by more in light of the huge changes comming that could make the bottem 20% of small businesses uneconomical once they lose their tax dudection status…. don’t expect to hear about this on msm though.

    The city should do the same!!! Business property tax the second lowest in the province…..who gets to make up the lost revenues??…the homeowner..

      Business property tax is simply another business cost that is passed on to the ‘homeowner’, (consumers of that business’s goods or services), if its goods and services are sold in the same area.

      If they’re sold outside that area, and the cost of taxation becomes excessive in competition with that of
      business property tax elsewhere, that business loses market share and may go out of business.

      You need only look at what happened in a place like Campbell River, where the Catalyst Paper Elk Falls pulp mill told the City it could no longer afford the $ 6 million annual property tax bill, and unless there was relief it would close. The City didn’t believe them. The mill closed, and with it went a whole array of other businesses that supplied it.

      “Business property tax is simply another business cost that is passed on to the ‘homeowner’, (consumers of that business’s goods or services), if its goods and services are sold in the same area.”

      No kidding!

      Not only that, but if it is not sold locally, then it is passed on to a homeowner somewhere else.

      What you are forgetting about, is that if the local homeowner subsidizes a business more than other communities do, and people from outside the city, such as the donut around the city called rural suburbia, and places like Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, etc. shop her due to more choice and likely lower prices, then we are subsidizing those individuals indirectly.

      You very conveniently seem to ignore that. We are not a closed economy. IN fact, we are a regional retail centre and we also have businesses that produce services provincially, nationally and internationally. We are subsidizing ALL of them for the goods and services they sell outside the City.

      Which is fine….. as long as we do it at similar levels as other communities.

      BUT, we are not. Therein lies the problem.

      Is it because our businesses are not competitive? High transportation costs? Perhaps the subsidy should be a provincial one instead of a municipal one if that is the problem.

      There are One could make an argument that to take the weight off the cost of operating a large urbanized centre such as the GVRD, which is partially a cost to all BC taxpayers, the province should be subsidizing small urban areas for transportation costs associated with distance to major centres of commerce.

      BTW, I asked a planner at the Fraser Basin Council at one time if I could get some comparative costs per inhabitant of funding a large urban area in the lower mainland and southern Island versus smaller communities inland and north island.

      The individual was unable to get me such information.

      If anyone can lead me to such information for BC, I would love to see it.

      Is that a switch from the topic at hand? What about the federal liberals changes to small business tax policy and the resulting drop in small business confidence?

      Or are you going to be like Sparrow and try and make this about a ‘conspiracy’ of web sites marxists don’t agree with? Hard to stick to the point of the topic when it doesn’t fit your political agenda?

      The topic at hand is BRITISH COLUMBIA small business optimism for the near future and how it has dipped slightly.

      You took it from there and brought in Federal taxation plans for small business in Canada.

      I did not see your post about how ALL the small business surveys have shown decreasing optimism as a result.

      You then wrote about small business and how they are overtaxed. Others came in on that as well.

      I stated my belief that small businesses in PG are undertaxed as far as municipal taxes go and that the residential tax is too high as a result, especially when compared to other municipalities in BC.

      So tell me eagleone, how is that a switch from the topic.

      Did you lose the thread? Too many comments for you?

      I know you supported the federal liberals at election time… so I figured maybe a response of 5-6 google searches and a link to a pie chart on liberal taxation proposals they are keeping secret….

      But, I guess you are arguing that lower property taxes in PG are somehow driving the lower small business confidence? I can see how it would be hard logic to keep up with.

      I do agree for what its worth that residential taxes subsidize large industrial taxes in PG.

      I think we disagree that federal taxes are driving a lack of confidence in small business, and for that I say find a new search engine because its the big story almost everywhere mainstream or not.

      “I guess you are arguing that lower property taxes in PG are somehow driving the lower small business confidence?”

      You can read … right?

      I did not relate the two at all. Go back to my post and read it again for content this time.

      I stated that the Trudeau proposed policy to increase taxes on small business, I thought that the city of PG should do the same, raise property taxes which are only twice the amount on residential property.

      Most municipalities in BC have a higher property tax on business properties.

    True if it were only a survey for BC, but the survey is Canada wide. Fed policies do not only affect BC

There should be a 2 or 3 post limit per person per article on here! It gets a bit tiring reading the same comments over and over! Oh well!

    A library has many books.

    A book has many pages.

    A newspaper has many articles.

    No one is forcing you to read all the books, all the pages, all the articles.

    In fact, even those that you do not read entirely, you can and even take in the gist.

    I do agree, that if the system allowed one to see the comment heading, such as Facebook and many other comment sections on the internet, then one could open up the comments by the person who shares the same views you do and never see the fake comments by those you disagree with …. ;-)


ht tps://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/03/has-al-gore-remade-silicon-valley-in-his-image/

Interesting read.

Hey Sparrow. Read a book called true crime addict by “James Renner” on the disappeance of Maura Murray. He was a reporter and states it as fact early in this book.

This is what fear mongers do, create false reports that try to make govt’s they don’t like look bad. Fn losers.

    Are you a conspiracy theorist, or do you have some inside information that the report is false?

    Please do share.

    So the CFIB changed the results of the survey to make BC look bad? That is your argument, really?

The business barometer for all the provinces can be downloaded here as an excel file: cfib-fcei.ca/english/article/6065-business-barometer.html

Here are the provinces from highest to lowest predictions

The first number is July 2017 and the second is August 2016 with the last number being the change between the two.

Prince Edward Is. 73.8 72.7 -1.1
Quebec 68.9 71.5 2.7
New Brunswick 63.9 67.6 3.8
Nova Scotia 66.9 66.7 -0.3
Manitoba 68.9 65.2 -3.7
British Columbia 65.9 63.3 -2.5
Alberta 57.3 57.8 0.5
Ontario 59.5 56.9 -2.6
Newfoundland & Lab. 51.8 54.5 2.8
Saskatchewan 50.0 52.9 2.9

5 increased expectations and 5 lowered expectations.

I doubt the notion that the feds were going to increase taxes on small business had much to do with it. It was more likely provincial economic outlooks.

Here are the expectations, Canada wide, in the several business sectors, sorted from highest to lowest expectations.

Numbers are July 2017, August 2017, change

Wholesale 65.1 64.8 -0.3
Health & education serv. 66.7 64.2 -2.5
Prof., business services 66.5 63.8 -2.7
Manufacturing 65.7 62.8 -2.9
Construction 62.7 62.2 -0.6
Hospitality 63.6 61.9 -1.7
Other services 61.2 60.7 -0.5
Finance, insur. realty 64.4 60.5 -3.8
Info., arts, recreation 63.7 60.3 -3.4
Transportation 61.3 60.3 -1.0
Retail 50.7 56.6 5.9
Natural resources 50.0 50.0 0.0
Agriculture 50.6 48.9 -1.7

Notice natural resources is second lowest. Retail is third lowest, but they have the most positive outlook. In fact, it is the only one expecting an improvement. Interesting, since there are several provinces aiming for for a minimum wage of $15.hr within a year or two which will affect parts of the retail industry..

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