National small business confidence in ‘low gear’

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Business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador are the most optimistic in the country, according to the latest results of CFIB’s Business Barometer® index released today.

This, despite the fact the results show that optimism among Canada’s small- and medium-sized business owners fell in September, continuing a declining trend since May.

According to a news release, CFIB’s Business Barometer® index fell more than a full point to 63.6, from August’s mediocre level of 64.9.

“The latest result suggests the economy is truly kicking into low gear,” explained CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett. “This marks the fourth monthly decline in a row, and the fifth since March 2010’s post-recession high of about 70.”

Dropping six points to below 60, Ontario played a central role in carrying the national score lower. Ontario small business confidence is now at its lowest since June 2009.

Business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador are the most optimistic, with an index score of 69.1, while those in New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Saskatchewan are closely grouped in the 65 to 67 range.

Mallett said that muted optimism has more to do with business owners’ forward perspectives than the recent past.

“There is virtual balance between owners reporting better or worse performance in the past three or four months,” he said.

This index is available provincially and by industry. Results and the full report are available at: http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/barometer and www.cfib-fcei.ca/cfib-documents/Canada-BarometerHistory.xls.

Organizations: Canada-BarometerHistory.xls

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Canada New Brunswick Quebec Nova Scotia Alberta Saskatchewan

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