Following a slight rise in September, small business confidence across the country posted a considerable gain in October.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses’s Business Barometer® Index climbed to 65.6 for the month, about 3.6 points higher than its September level and 5.6 points above the trough seen in August. The P.E.I. index, which has dropped quite low in the past few months, has rebounded slightly from 44.6 to 50.0.
The Business Barometer Index is based upon a scale of 0-100 with 50 and above being indicative of economic growth. The Island’s results suggest that businesses expect their performance to remain relatively unchanged.
Within the region, Newfoundland and Labrador leads Atlantic Canada with an index of 76.7. Nova Scotia followed with an index of 59.6 while New Brunswick index sits at 58.6.
The following are some provincial findings of note:
- 67 per cent of businesses plan to maintain current levels of full-time employment, while five per cent plan to hire and 28 per cent plan to cut back;
- 40 per cent of businesses in P.E.I. now say the overall state of business is good, 51 per cent say it is satisfactory, and nine per cent say it is bad;
- Significant cost pressures on P.E.I. businesses continue to be fuel and energy (78 per cent), taxes and regulations (64 per cent), and wages (58 per cent).