Canadian Manufacturing

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

September 24, 2020  by CM Staff

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.”

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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.


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