PLANT

SME’s kick off 2013 feeling plucky

Confidence is up three points on CFIB’s business index.


Business is looking up for manufacturers whose confidence level jumped 4.5 points in January.

TORONTO — Canadian SMEs are kicking off 2013 with a renewed sense of confidence, according to the latest Business Barometer Index from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Optimism was up three points to 65.7 in January.

“After a lacklustre November and December, small business owners across Canada are starting to feel more optimistic about the future,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president, in a statement. “While it’s too soon to make any conclusions about 2013, the latest survey results are very encouraging.”

Mallett said there’s a lot of optimism in white-collar industries such as professional services, finance and the information sector, but manufacturing, retail and construction are not far behind.

Manufacturing reflected the national surge in confidence moving from a 62.2 in December to 66.7.

Small business owners at 70.7 are most optimistic, closely followed by Newfoundland and Labrador (69.3) and Saskatchewan (66.7) are close behind. Higher readings across the rest of Canada include Ontario (65), Nova Scotia (64.2), Manitoba (63.5), Quebec (62.7), New Brunswick (61.7) and PEI (58.3). Only BC (61.6) firms saw a decline in optimism.

Full-time hiring plans have jumped to a post-recession high, with 27% of businesses expecting to hire additional staff in the next few months. Similarly, 44% described their state of business to be in “good” shape – the best score of in the past four years.

The index is based on responses from 998 businesses.

Toronto-based CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses

Click here for the report.