Optimism among Canada’s small- and medium-size businesses continued to decline in August, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The ‘Business Barometer’ index dropped from 60.9 in July to 60, suggesting very slow growth in the economy. However, Ted Mallet, chief economist and vice-president at the CFIB, points out that the index remains more than 20 points above the recessionary low of 39.9 seen in December 2008. Overall, 41 per cent of business owners described their state of business to be in ‘good’ shape compared to12 per cent who said business is ‘bad.’ Index levels above 50 mean that the owners who expect their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those who expect weaker performance. Based on past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.
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