As Canada’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) feel increasingly positive about their economic future, many are considering hiring in the next quarter.
According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), SMEs are more optimistic than they’ve been since April.
“October’s gains are the biggest one-month improvement in business confidence we’ve seen in two years,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “Our survey results suggest the economy is shaking off some of the sluggishness we’ve seen since the spring.”
Full-time hiring plans continue to be better than average for this time of the year: 19% of business owners plan to hire full-time staff in the next three or four months compared to 12% who say they will cut back.
These numbers are much more positive than the findings from October 2011 and 2010. Overall, 41% of business owners described their state of business to be in “good” shape, about three-times the 13% who said their state of business is “bad.”
Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador remain the most optimistic in Canada, followed closely by entrepreneurs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The biggest gains in optimism were observed in Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia, while smaller improvements occurred in Quebec, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island. Only New Brunswick saw a decline.
“By sector, manufacturing, professional services and information, arts and culture are all showing above-average confidence,” added Mallett. “It looks as though some of this is being driven by better economic news from the United States.”