Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of CFOs, CEOs and COOs were optimistic about the Canadian economy in the first quarter of 2011, marking a notable increase of 23 per cent over the previous quarter, according to a survey by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) and RBC.
Canadian interest rates and consumer confidence were the top two reasons cited for the surge in optimism to near record levels associated with the CICA/RBC Business Monitor. In addition, 66 per cent of respondents in the first-quarter survey were optimistic about their company's prospects over the next year, up 10 per cent from the previous quarter.
The good news for jobseekers is almost one-half (47 per cent) of respondents expect employment numbers to climb at their company over the next 12 months and 22 per cent are projecting increases of five per cent or more. Only 12 per cent of respondents anticipate the number of employees in their company will drop, with most of the remaining respondents believing company employment numbers will remain unchanged.
"The employment prospects must be welcome news for the latest crop of university and college graduates looking to enter the workforce," says Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of CICA. "One positive set of findings does not make a trend but the results are encouraging."
Seventy-three per cent of executive CAs expected their company's revenues to increase in the next 12 months, found the survey. This includes 24 per cent projecting revenue increases of 10 per cent or more.
Roughly seven-in-10 (69 per cent) of the 351 executive CAs surveyed indicated their company's profits will increase in the next 12 months, with 25 per cent projecting a profit increase of 10 per cent or more.
"These latest results reinforce the fact that Canadian companies are ready to seize opportunities for future growth and investments," says Christianne Paris, vice-president of business and client strategy at RBC. "The focus on investment in innovation is particularly promising, as this can be a key driver for opportunities in new markets."