Small business optimism rises slightly in October, says CFIB

TORONTO – Small business optimism in Canada moved slightly forward in October, according to the latest online survey of Canadian Federation of Independent Business members.

Its business barometer stood at 65 on a scale of 0-to-100 compared to 64.5 in September. An index above 50 means owners who expect a better performance in the next year outnumber those anticipating a weaker year.

Small business optimism in Newfoundland and Labrador rose four points to a Canadian high of 76.4, followed by British Columbia at 70.7.

Ontario was third at 66.6, followed by Manitoba (62.4) and New Brunswick (57.0) while Prince Edward Island’s small business optimism remained the lowest of any of the provinces at 49.0.

Optimism in Nova Scotia (60.1), Alberta (70.4) and Quebec (57.8) fell slightly and Saskatchewan held steady (69.4).

By sector, the CFIB says the strongest results were in professional services, manufacturing and natural resources. Business owners in transportation, finance, real estate and retail were somewhat less optimistic than the average.

The October findings are based on 1,009 responses from a random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.