CFIB Business Barometer ® National small business confidence steady in November

Toronto, December 2, 2009 – November’s small business confidence level has threaded the narrow gap between September and October levels, suggesting that although the recovery is proceeding, its pace is gradual. According to the latest business confidence survey findings from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Business Barometer® index currently stands at 68.0, as compared with 68.7 in September and 67.0 last month.

CFIB’s vice-president of research and chief economist, Ted Mallett, explained that the patterns of relative strength and weakness have remained pretty consistent across regions and industrial sectors. “Business owners in the finance business services and retail sectors hold the share of optimism, while those involved in transportation, agriculture and hospitality continue to be considerably less upbeat about their prospects,” he said.

According to Mallett, businesses in Newfoundland & Labrador, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Alberta are the most optimistic for the coming year � each registering an index score above 70. Business owners in Quebec and Ontario are at the other end of the spectrum with index levels of 60.6 and 66.6, respectively.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing. The November 2009 findings are based on 914 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data are statistically accurate to +/- 3.2 per cent 19 times in 20.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ted Mallett, contact Meghan Carrington or Adam Miller at 416 222-8022.

Business Barometer is a monthly publication of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and is a registered trademark.

About CFIB

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses. Encouraging the development of good public policy at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, CFIB represents more than 105,000 business owners, who collectively employ 1.25 million Canadians and account for $75 billion in GDP.