Small business confidence rises in December

OTTAWA — Canada’s small-business owners were feeling better about things in December, according to a monthly survey.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said its “business barometer” of owners’ confidence for last month was 65, up from 63.7 in November.

“The business barometer index has historically hovered between 65 and 70 when the economy is expanding,” federation chief economist Ted Mallett said in a statement.

“The return to ‘near normal’ is seen as good news for Canada’s economic performance, which had lately been constrained by uncertainties in foreign markets.”

The index is based on a scale of zero to 100. Scores greater than 50 indicate most businesses are expecting improvements in their performance over the next year.

Confidence was strongest in Prairies provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan, which scored 73.6 and 72.2, respectively. At the low end of the spectrum was Nova Scotia, at 55.6.

Other Atlantic provinces were also lower than the rest of the country, with New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador all coming in at 59.8.

Ontario’s index score was 63.5, Quebec was at 65.3, Manitoba at 64.3 and British Columbia at 68.

The December barometer was based on online surveys with about 900 federation members. The results are considered to represent this sector of business owners in the country within 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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