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CFIB Monthly Business Optimism Overview

Canadian Federation of Independent Business: May 2023 Report Highlights

Small Business Optimism in Canada: Canada's small business optimism index has experienced continuous growth for seven consecutive months, reaching its highest level in nearly a year. However, labor shortages and their associated challenges continue to pose significant concerns for small businesses.


CFIB's Business Barometer® long-term index, which measures 12-month forward expectations for business performance, slightly increased to 56.4. Although this is approximately 5 points below the historical average, it indicates positive sentiment. The short-term optimism index, reflecting a 3-month outlook, remained unchanged at 53.5, about 2 points below the historical average.


Provincial Outlook: Except for Saskatchewan and Quebec, all provinces reported optimism levels above the mid-50 range. Saskatchewan experienced a notable drop in optimism, reaching 51.9. Conversely, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) demonstrated significant improvements in optimism, surpassing their historical averages for this time of year.


Sector Analysis: Across most sectors, long-term optimism is on the rise. Most industries, excluding transportation, finance, insurance, real estate, leasing, and agriculture, reported confidence levels above 50. The agriculture sector has experienced consistently low levels of optimism for the past 12 months. While some sectors have witnessed marginal improvements, others, notably transportation, and natural resources, have seen declines in business confidence.


Labor Market Indicators: For this period, full-time staffing plans indicate a moderate outlook, with only 22% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) planning to hire and 12% anticipating layoffs. Average wage increase plans have slightly decreased to 3.2 from the previous month's level of 3.3.


For the full CFIB Business Barometer, including detailed charts, visit the CFIB website.


To read the full issue of The Leading Edge - Taking Care of Business CLICK HERE

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