Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the country, in terms of small business confidence, accorrding to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Optimism in Canada’s small business sector slipped in September, but still remained relatively strong, according to a monthly reading from the CFIB.
It says the confidence index slipped 1.4 points from August to 64.5, with any reading over 50 suggesting optimistic business owners outnumber those expecting a weaker performance.
But, the business group says Newfoundland and Labrador at 72.2, Alberta at 71.6 and Saskatchewan at 70.7 continue to lead the way in terms of small business confidence.
Ontario‘s confidence level surged in recent months, peaking in August at 67.8, but dropped sharply last month to 63.6.
Drops were also seen in New Brunswick (55.5) and Prince Edward Island (47.6). Nova Scotia (61.6), Manitoba (60.7) and British Columbia (67.9) saw modest gains while Quebec remained well below the national average at 59.2.
The strongest sectors were health and education, the arts and wholesale, while transportation remained a weak point.
“The good news is that overall, the other indicators are stable,” said CFIB chief economist and vice-president Ted Mallett
“Hiring plans are typical for this time of year, 40 per cent of small business owners report a generally good state of business, and orders and accounts receivables show gradual improvement. Price and wage expectations are stable, and there are no big shifts being reported in operating constraints or pricing pressures.”
According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.
The September findings are based on 1,126 responses, collected from a random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.