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Aug. 30, 2022

Small Business Confidence Stable, But Low

Small business confidence remained stable, but low in August, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) ‘Business Barometer.’ The short-term optimism index gained three points, climbing to 50, while the 12-month outlook reached 53.5, a small increase of 0.8 points since July. "Small business owners continue to feel the pressures of higher costs and labour shortages, and they're taking a wait-and-see approach," says Simon Gaudreault, chief economist and vice-president of research at CFIB. "They are cautious about the future and that impacts confidence, hiring plans, and business growth plans." The share of businesses reporting being in good shape increased to 37 per cent in August, compared to 32 per cent in July. Hiring plans haven't changed much, with 20 per cent of firms planning to hire full-time staff and 15 per cent looking to lay off. Average price increase plans are trending down from May's high of 4.9 per cent, currently sitting at 4.2 per cent. Among provinces, Prince Edward Island continues to be the most optimistic over the short- and long-term. On the other hand, Newfoundland and Labrador posted the lowest levels of confidence over both time spans.

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