The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest monthly Business Barometer on August 27. It reveals optimism among small business owners in Saskatchewan rebounded to an index of 61.9 in August, from 54.5 in July, well ahead of the national index of 56.7.
“Saskatchewan bucked the trend and saw a confidence increase for the fourth consecutive month, jumping over seven points to an index of 61.9 – the highest level since November, 2014. We hope this trend continues as we head into the Fall,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Prairie & Agri-business. “Employment plans also improved and are now the strongest in Canada, with 22 per cent of Saskatchewan business owners planning to add full-time staff in the next few months (20 per cent nationally), versus only eight per cent who expect to cut back (12% nationally).”
“Canada’s small business confidence continues to struggle in August. CFIB’s Business Barometer index fell for the third consecutive month to 56.7, its lowest point since April 2009,” said Ted Mallet, vice president and chief economist. “So far in 2015, the index has eroded almost eight points – largely on the basis of weakening sentiment in the Western Provinces.”
Across the country, optimism fell in 7 of 10 provinces. Alberta’s index dropped to 40.4 this month, another 3.5 points off from July. Manitoba also saw a big decline in business sentiment, dropping to 53.8. Domestic conditions, coupled with weakening economic prospects in Asia have weighed down British Columbia’ index to 64.1. Conditions in the Maritimes remain the strongest on account of a favourable Dollar boosting business with the US. Prince Edward Island leads with an index of 67.3, while Nova Scotia is not far behind at 65.7. New Brunswick’s index saw little change at 61.1—basically in line with that of Ontario’s (61.3). August also saw some recovery of optimism in Saskatchewan, with its index rising to 61.9. Index levels in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador remain near 57. Results and the full report are available at: www.cfi b-fcei.ca/english/barometer