Small business confidence continued to climb in August

But weak outlooks for construction, transportation: Survey

Small business confidence continued to increase in August, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The federation’s Business Barometer index rose 1.7 points to 65.9, its highest mark since February. Measured on a scale of 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 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

"Once again, increased confidence among Ontario entrepreneurs has powered the national average, although the index numbers are up in seven of the ten provinces," said Ted Mallett, CFIB's chief economist and vice-president. "So far, the summer is shaping up to be considerably better than the spring for small business owners."

Employers in Saskatchewan (70.7) are the most optimistic in Canada, found the survey of 1,018 CFIB members. Newfoundland and Labrador (70.4) was a close second, followed by Alberta (69.5), Ontario (67.8) and British Columbia (66.3).

Quebec (59), New Brunswick (58.5), Nova Scotia (58) and Manitoba (57.6) are below the national average, while Prince Edward Island (50) is at the back of the pack.

"August has been a pretty good month for businesses engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, retail, professional services and hospitality," said Mallett. "On the other hand, we're seeing uneven or weak outlooks for construction and transportation."

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