Small businesses expecting stronger performance in 2014: Business barometer

Positive results from professional services, manufacturing and natural resource sectors

Small business optimism has trended into more positive territory after weathering a tough spring, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’(CFIB) Business Barometer.

The index went up to 65.0 in the month of October, and has remained generally steady for the past four months.

On a scale of 0 to 100, an index over 50 means organizations expecting a stronger business performance next year outnumber those organizations expecting a weaker performance.

An index of 65 to 70 is typical when the economy is growing at its potential, the report said.

Full-time hiring plans remain unchanged, with 18 per cent of employers expecting to hire and 12 per cent expecting to downsize in the next few months. Those numbers are fairly typical for this time of year, the report said.

Positive results were reported from the professional services, manufacturing and natural resource sectors, while the transportation, finance, real estate and retail sectors reported less optimistic outlooks than usual.

Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia reported the most positive results after seeing substantial gains in October, but the outlook in Alberta and Saskatchewan fell slightly, but still remains above average.

Forty-one per cent of employers reported a generally good state of business and pricing expectations have shown a slight increase, rising to 1.5 per cent annual growth.

Wage expectations are trending slightly higher at 1.7 per cent.

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