© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Opposition Houser Leader Steven Myers speaks to reporters outside the house after Treassurer Wes Sheridan brought down his budget.
Prince Edward Island’s small business optimism has stopped its decline, but it remains low relative to other provinces.
P.E.I.'s Business Barometer Index, published monthly by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), stands at an even 50 this month — about five points below winter 2013 levels and more than 15 points below the current national average. The 29 per cent of business owners who say their businesses are doing well, are almost matched by the 28 per cent who say their firms are performing poorly.
Short-term hiring expectations show the same cancelling effect.
Entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan (70.7) are the most optimistic in Canada, with Newfoundland and Labrador (70.4) a close second, followed by Alberta (69.5), Ontario (67.8) and British Columbia (66.3). Quebec (59.0), New Brunswick (58.5), Nova Scotia (58.0), and Manitoba (57.6) are below the national average, while Prince Edward Island (50.0) is at the back of the pack.
“Nationally, August has been a pretty good month for businesses engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, retail, professional services and hospitality,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president.
“On the other hand, we’re seeing uneven or weak outlooks for construction and transportation.”
PC Leader Steven Myers is deeply concerned that P.E.I. small business confidence has plunged to the lowest in the country.
Myers said this is yet another symptom of Premier Robert Ghiz’s fiscal mismanagement.
“These poor numbers show Robert Ghiz’s failure to manage our economy, which is taking a heavy toll on P.E.I. entrepreneurs and small businesses.”