Strong Gains In Confidence For SMEs

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    Small business confidence increased in July, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The ‘Business Barometer index’ rose almost five points to 64.2, making up nearly all the ground lost in the previous four months. “Canada’s small and mid-size business owners are considerably more optimistic than they were just a month ago and the current index reading is the best since February,” says Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist at CFIB. Most of this turnaround is the result of much better numbers out of Ontario. There is steady or improving confidence in most sectors, particularly construction and manufacturing, with retail the only sector on the downside, says Mallett. Measured on a scale of zero and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.