Labour Shortages Continue To Impact Small Business Confidence

Small business confidence over the long and short term has dropped slightly in May, with some sectors, such as retail, feeling particularly less optimistic about the future, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Business Barometer. The 12-month outlook dropped by three index points to 61.6, while the three-month optimism index fell to 58.8, a loss of two points since April. Despite the slight drop in small business sentiment, the general state of business is on the upswing and better than in the previous months, with 43 per cent of businesses reporting being in a good state, compared to 16 per cent who say they are in a bad shape. Labour shortages (54 per cent) were the biggest factor limiting business growth in May, while fuel and energy prices continued to be the major cost constraint. Almost all provinces were more optimistic over the short term except Ontario, where businesses saw the biggest decrease (-5.6 points), and Quebec.