Prince Edward Island small business owners started 2013 with a solid boost of optimism according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
CFIB’S Business Barometer index jumped four points to 58.3 in January, close to the levels seen in late spring and summer 2012, says Erin McGrath-Gaudet, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs for P.E.I.
However, she said P.E.I. is still trailing well behind the rest of the provinces.
Nationally, the Business Barometer index jumped three points to 65.7 in January over a lackluster December and November.
Within the region, Newfoundland and Labrador leads Atlantic Canada with an index of 69.3. Nova Scotia followed with an index of 64.2 while the New Brunswick index sits at 61.7.
The following are some provincial findings of note:
— 67 per cent of businesses plan to maintain current levels of full-time employment, while 14 per cent plan to hire and 19 per cent plan to cut back;
— 34 per cent of businesses in P.E.I. now say the overall state of business is good, 50 per cent say it is satisfactory, and 16 per cent say it is bad;
— Significant cost pressures on P.E.I. businesses continue to be fuel and energy (66 per cent), wages (64 per cent), and taxes and regulations (50 per cent).