BC small business confidence steadies: CFIB

THE monthly Business Barometer index for BC steadied in March, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Small business confidence gained 0.5 points in March to reach 55.9, which is on par with the national average (55.9) this month. But the BC index remains 10 points below the 65 to 75 point range (on the 100 point scale) which indicates a healthy and growing economy.

The number of businesses reporting their business health as ‘good’ increased 2 points, reaching 47 per cent. Comparatively, 43 per cent describe it as ‘satisfactory’ (up 1 point) and 10 per cent describe it as ‘bad’ (down 2 points).

“BC’s economy has been firing on most cylinders for a few years now. But over the past few months, it seems like the engine may be slipping into neutral. Entrepreneurs are increasingly cautious about the future direction for the economy. By piling on new taxes and regulations for employers the BC Government has certainly not helped create an optimistic outlook of business owners,” said Richard Truscott, Vice President, Alberta and BC.

The provincial numbers for March were: Nova Scotia (66.8), Quebec (65.3), PEI (59.7), Ontario (59.5), New Brunswick (56.6), British Columbia (55.9), Manitoba (51.4), Saskatchewan (50.8), Newfoundland & Labrador (48.7), Alberta (42.1).

March 2019 findings are based on 697 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through March 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.