Business barometer rises slightly

According to the latest survey data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business confidence is on the rise.

According to the latest survey data from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), small business confidence is on the rise.

CFIB’s business barometer climbed to 65.0 in December, more than a point above its November level.

“The business barometer index has historically hovered between 65 and 70 when the economy is expanding,” said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist for CFIB. “The return to near normal is seen as good news for Canada’s economic performance, which had lately been constrained by uncertainties in foreign markets.”

Business owners in Alberta (73.6) and Saskatchewan (72.2) are the most optimistic in the country, while B.C. is stable at 68.0. Optimism in central Canada is close to the national average – Quebec (65.3), Manitoba (64.8), and Ontario (63.5). Confidence in Atlantic Canada, however, continues to lag. Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I. and New Brunswick are at an identical 59.8. Nova Scotia is the least optimistic province at 55.6.

Using a scale between zero and 100,  an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.

The December 2011 findings are based on 900 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members. Visit www.cfib.ca/research/barometer/ to view the full report.