British Columbia’s Business Barometer index climbed two points in April over March in the face of an overall Canadian decline, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
B.C.’s small business optimism rose to 67.6 from 65.7 in March, while the national barometer slid slightly to 62.4. Index levels between 65 and 75 generally indicate a growing economy.
“This marks the third consecutive month of increasing optimism for small businesses in British Columbia, which is going against the greater national trend,” said Mike Klassen, CFIB B.C. director of provincial affairs.
“In fact, British Columbia now ranks second nationwide in terms of business confidence, and this is a dramatic improvement from where we were as recently as a few months ago.”
B.C. is now in second place nationwide in terms of business confidence, up from fifth in March. Only Newfoundland and Labrador ranks higher, with a barometer index of 69.1.
When reporting the current state of their business, 34 per cent responded “Good” versus 17 per cent who answered “Bad,” with the remaining 49 per cent choosing “Satisfactory,” essentially unchanged from the previous month.
• 24 per cent of BC respondents expect to increase full-time employment in the next three months, versus seven per cent anticipating reduction. This is a four-point drop in intention to increase over last month, which in turn was the highest level surveyed in several years.
• Taxes and regulation was cited as the major cost constraint by 66 per cent of respondents, followed by fuel and energy at 53 per cent.
• 48 per cent say that insufficient domestic demand is their main limitation on sales or production growth.
All of this is outlined and illustrated in the Business Barometer for March. The national report, including a comparison chart of CFIB’s business barometer and GDP, can be found at www.cfib.ca/barometer.
— Canadian Federation of Independent Business