Small biz owners confident, but optimism waning

BMO survey finds more than half expect profits to increase.

TORONTO — Almost half of small businesses (48%) expect growth this year, but overall their confidence in the economy and business prospects has fallen nine points from the fall of 2014, according to the BMO Small Business Confidence Report.

The index score measures the confidence of small business owners based on a series of key indicators, including their predictions for performance, economic outlook, growth expectations and plans for investment.

The current index score is 59 out of 100 – down from 68 out of 100 in the fall.

The survey of 502 business owners/managers conducted between Feb. 20 and March 5 also found that:

• 51% of business owners believe 2015 will be a better year for business than 2014
• 56% expect to see an increase in their profits this year
• 29% expect the Canadian economy to improve in 2015
• 48% expect their businesses to grow in 2015
• 29% plan to invest more into their businesses this year

The Pollara telephone survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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