Bakers Journal

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Canadian business optimism down slightly


April 11, 2014
By Bakers Journal

April 11, 2014 –Business confidence in the
state of the economy and their prospects dropped slightly compared to the
latter half of 2013, but is still up from a year ago, reports the semi-annual
BMO Small Business Confidence Report.

April 11, 2014 –Business confidence in the
state of the economy and their prospects dropped slightly compared to the
latter half of 2013, but is still up from a year ago, reports the semi-annual
BMO Small Business Confidence Report.

The report, released April 10, is designed
to produce an index score that measures the level of confidence small business
owners have in the economy and their business prospects based on a series of
key indicators, including their predictions for performance, economic outlook,
growth expectations and plans for investment. As a single-figure snapshot of
small business confidence, the current index score would register at 65 out of
100 – down slightly from last fall (70 out of 100), but up from 59 out of 100 a
year ago.

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The report revealed an upturn in confidence
between the spring and fall of 2013, likely reflecting the weaker Canadian
dollar, stronger U.S. economy and solid GDP growth in the second half of last
year.

While the confidence score has dropped
slightly over the past six months, the majority of business owners across the
country share a positive outlook for the year ahead, with those in British
Columbia and Alberta recording the highest score.

A press release from BMO highlighted
several findings:

·     
a pullback in confidence
reflects the economic slowdown due to inclement weather

·     
more than half of Canadian
business owners expect 2014 will be a better year for business than 2013

·     
forty-four per cent of
businesses anticipate business growth

·     
business confidence varies by
province
 

“With the U.S. economy experiencing an
uptick, Canadian companies could benefit from looking beyond traditional
markets to find new buyers for their products and grow their business,” said
Steve Murphy, head of Canadian Commercial Banking at BMO Bank of Montreal, in a
press release. “With impressive growth continuing in emerging economies – such
as China, India, Brazil and south of the Canadian border – it’s important for
business owners to tap into these markets as they represent another avenue for
business success.”