Small- and mid-sized business optimism rose across Canada this month, while remaining stable in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business released the results of its monthly “business barometer” — which asks business owners whether they expect their business’s performance to be stronger or weaker over the next year — on Thursday. A score of more than 50 on the index indicates more business owners expect better performance than weaker performance, and a score of less than 50 indicates the reverse.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s July index is 66.7, up 0.4 percentage points from June, above the national average of 64.2 and third-highest in the country behind Saskatchewan (71.2) and Alberta (66.8).
The survey also asks businesses what they consider to be limiting sales or production growth, and major cost constraints.
A shortage of skilled labour was cited as a limitation by 29 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador businesses surveyed. Twenty per cent of businesses also reported a shortage of semi- or unskilled labour, and
16 per cent cited insufficient domestic demand. The most common ma-jor cost constraint was tax and regulatory costs, reported by 45 per cent of surveyed businesses. Insurance costs and fuel/energy costs were cited by 38 per cent of businesses each.