Small business 12-month outlook holds at 59.2 on CFIB index
Three-month Business Barometer outlook considerably more pessimistic at 39.7 over the year-long outlook
TORONTO — There has been no improvement in the 12-month small business outlook. It’s holding at 59.2 index points on the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s September Business Barometer.
The three-month outlook was considerably lower at 39.7, a slight dip over the previous month.
Manufacturing registered a 58.2, up 1.4 points from August. Thirteen per cent anticipate hirong ver the next three months, 22% will be reducing staff. Business health is good for 22% of manufacturers, bad for 28%. Capacity utilization is 67%.
“The gap between the 12-month and three-month outlooks tells us that many businesses are still facing significant difficulties,” said CFIB chief economist Ted Mallett. “Insufficient domestic demand is still the top factor limiting sales growth.”
CFIB reports businesses were operating at 69% capacity, a slip from 70% in August. And for the second consecutive month, businesses that say they’re in good shape was almost even with those who say they’re in bad shape.
Staffing intentions are also static. A quarter of businesses plan on reducing full-time staff in the next three months, while 15% plan on hiring.
An index level nearer to 65 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential.
Data reflect responses received from Sept. 2 to 14. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.3% 19 times in 20.