Winnipeg, July 27, 2017 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows that small business optimism in Manitoba increased 1.8 points in July to an index of 68.9, compared to 67.1 in June. The Manitoba index now sits well above the national index of 60.7, and 12.5 points above Manitoba’s July 2016 reading.
“Small business optimism in Manitoba increased for the third month in a row to its highest level in five years,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Short-term hiring plans also kept positive with 15 per cent of business owners looking to hire and 9 per cent looking to cut back.”
Canada’s small business optimism failed to pick itself up in July, slipping 0.2 points to 60.7, according to the CFIB’s Business Barometer®.
“Below par results in Ontario are continuing to weigh down cross-country confidence,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s Chief Economist. “We also saw small declines across western Canada which muted stronger results in Manitoba, Quebec and the Atlantic region. Overall the results are mediocre by historical standards, but in line with the sentiment we’ve seen over the last half of last year.”
British Columbia (65.9) and Alberta (57.3) both saw confidence fall by four points in July, while Saskatchewan (50.0) saw a two point dip. Ontario (59.5) recovered a point and a half after its 10 point plummet last month. Manitoba (68.9)’s confidence increased by nearly two points to reach a five-year high. Quebec (68.9) saw a three point gain, while Prince Edward Island (73.8) leapt six points to top spot in the country. Nova Scotia (66.9) confidence increased by three points, and New Brunswick(63.9) held steady. Optimism remains subdued in Newfoundland and Labrador (51.8), but a three and a half point increase in July means it’s no longer the lowest in the country. Results and the full report are available at: www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/barometer.
Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for July:
· 46% of small businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (43% nationally); 5% say it is bad (10% nationally).
· 15% of Manitoba small businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months (14% nationally), and 9% plan to decrease employment (12% nationally).
· Insufficient domestic demand remains the main operating challenge (37%), followed by management skills/time constraints (31%), and shortage of skilled labour (26%).
· Major cost pressures for small business include: tax/regulatory costs (62%), wage costs (49%), and insurance costs (40%).