Business

B.C. small business optimism still highest in Canada

  - File
— image credit: File

For the third straight month, small business optimism in British Columbia ranked the highest in Canada.

February’s Business Barometer index edged down marginally to 71.4, but remains among the best BC has posted in the past two and a half years. Hiring plans remain fairly positive as well, with 23 per cent of owners planning to add --and only 5 per cent expecting to shed-- full-time staff in the next few months.

“The past three months have seen BC solidify its position as the high-water mark for small business optimism across Canada,” said CFIB BC policy analyst Kimball Kastelen. “It now seems clear that the surge in confidence first observed last summer has developed into a sustained shift in outlook for BC’s entrepreneurs.”

Across Canada, the Business Barometer index rose by 0.4 points to 64.4 this month, expanding on its 1.7 point gain in January. In fact, the index now runs about half a point better than its 2013 average.

“This is a sign that small businesses see the glass as more than half full for February,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist. “And, the reading’s in line with last month’s trend, where we already saw optimism levels rebounding.” Notably, the rapid downshift in the value of the Canadian dollar in late January has shown up in business pricing plans. After averaging 1.4 per cent through 2013, expected annual price increases surged to 2.1 per cent in February as importers scrambled to adjust to the new currency level.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level of between 65 and 70 means the economy is growing at its potential.

February 2014 findings are based on 1156 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 2.9 per cent 19 times in 20.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C. government pitches LNG spinoffs
 
Coast Capital Savings names president
 
Delta man recognized for fundraising
Back to school? Shop smart, says the Better Business Bureau
 
Connecting communities
 
Focus on offence not fading
Burnaby prop house calls it a wrap after 38 years
 
Tattooing the way to better confidence
 
Bundling up

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 25 edition online now. Browse the archives.