Weaker global conditions and ongoing spending cuts in the energy sector to blame.
Manufacturing, natural resources, business services unusually low.
Conference Board of Canada index shows automotive manufacturers put in a strong performance.
Manufacturing was on an upswing in December as Canadian small businesses gained confidence and manufacturers saw production and new orders rise.
Bad news in the first half of August soured small business confidence, according to the results of a monthly index tracked by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).