Canadian business optimistic about US economy after vote: BMO

Performance of the US economy drops to 6th on list of biggest challenges for Canadian business, from #1 last year.

November 1, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

TORONTO—Business owners believe the US economy will pick up afte next week’s US presidential election, according to a poll from BMO Bank of Montreal.

“Canada’s outlook still depends quite heavily on the fate of the US economy, with more than 70% of our exports bound for that market,” said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. “No other economy comes close to the US weight in our trade flows.”

The US economy is still facing important challenges, but BMO Economics has predicted growth there to be 2.2% in 2012, and just over that threshold in 2013, he adds.

According to poll results, 32% of respondents say the US economy will pick up after the vote on Nov. 6. Only 27% say the American economy will stay flat.

When asked about the greatest challenges they face this year, the performance of the US economy ranked 6th (7% of businesses). In 2011, the US economy was cited as the biggest challenge, with more than 25% of respondents saying so.

This year’s poll suggests the greatest challenges facing Canadian businesses include:

  • Reduced consumer spending – 22%
  • Energy costs – 16%
  • Labour costs – 16%
  • Increased raw material costs – 11%
  • Global economic challenges – 9%
  • Performance of the U.S. economy – 7%

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