Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian firms gloomier about economy’s direction: survey

Only 14 per cent of executives believe economic conditions would improve over next six months



OTTAWA—The Conference Board of Canada says Canadian businesses are becoming more pessimistic about the economy’s direction.

The Ottawa-based think-tank says business confidence has fallen sharply for the second consecutive quarter, reversing what had been an upward trend.

The confidence measure fell 5.5 points to 92.3 in the three months ended in September, after falling 9.5 points the previous quarter.

According to the survey results, only 14 per cent of executives who responded said they believe economic conditions would improve over the next six months.

That’s a drop from 43 per cent six months ago.

As well, only 32 per cent said their firms were operating at or close to full capacity, the lowest rate since the beginning of 2010.

Meanwhile, only half of respondents say they expect their own company’s profitability to improve over the next six months, a slight decrease from the previous survey.

There was also a modest drop, to 48.6 per cent, in the number who say now is a good time to invest.

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