Exporter confidence strong, despite instability in the US: EDC

TCI rose in all industry categories, and in all regions except Quebec.

OTTAWA — Confidence among Canadian exporters is strong, despite anti-trade rhetoric, US protectionism and a threat to the stability of the European Union. In fact, confidence is even slightly higher than it was six months ago, according to a semi-annual report by Export Development Canada (EDC).

The Trade Confidence Index has increased 1.6 points from 72.3 in Fall 2016 to 73.9 in Spring 2017.

The most recent survey conducted by EDC even surprises chief economist Peter Hall.

“While the change might seem small, it’s a strong statement on how Canadian companies are reacting to what’s going on in the US,” he said. “Given US anti-trade shock-talk, confidence might well have tumbled, even sharply.”

It appears companies are too busy processing current business to fret about policies that may or may not come into effect.

“Anecdotally, we are hearing from companies that near-term contracts continue to roll in from their US buyers, giving them some measure of security. They are paying attention to the trade debate, but getting on with the job,” Hall said.

The TCI rose in all industry categories, and in all regions except Quebec.

EDC is a Crown corporation that provides financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections to help Canadian companies sell and invest abroad.

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