TORONTO: A business confidence survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) showed business confidence had dropped from 69.9 in March to 66.4 in April.
“Optimism has fallen in eight of 13 industry groups, including the bellwether sectors of manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade,” said CFIB vice-president and chief economist, Ted Mallett. “Many consumer-driven businesses in Ontario and British Columbia are bracing for the looming harmonization of sales taxes in those provinces on Canada Day, and Nova Scotia businesses will be seeing a two-point rate increase in the HST rates they have to charge.”
Overall, business owners in Saskatchewan are the most optimistic in Canada, with an index score of 74.4. Those in Newfoundland and Labrador are next at 71.9, followed closely by business owners in BC and Alberta (71.1 and 70.8 respectively).
At the other end of the scale, Manitobans and Quebec entrepreneurs have seen their expectations cool the most, now showing index levels near 62. Sentiment among business owners in Ontario and the Maritimes are near the national average.