Business hiring, investment outlook hit lowest levels since 2009

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
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OTTAWA - The hiring and investment intentions of Canadian companies have fallen to their lowest levels since the 2009 recession, a new survey has found.

The country's businesses see a darker road in 2016 as firms continue to battle the bite of a commodity-price shock that has reached beyond the resource sector, according to the Bank of Canada's latest business outlook survey released Friday.

Companies' investment in equipment and hiring intentions for the next 12 months tumbled to their lowest levels since the 2009 recession, the findings say.

Fewer firms, the poll found, expected to boost their staff levels over that period, while plans to cut employees were more widespread - and not just those in commodity-producing sectors and regions.

“The low-commodity-price environment poses significant challenges for many businesses,” said the central bank's quarterly report.

“The negative effects of the oil-price shock are also increasingly spreading beyond the energy-producing regions and sectors.

“For example, many businesses across the energy supply chain continue to struggle as they adjust to an environment of weak demand.”

“The low-commodity-price environment poses significant challenges for many businesses.” Bank of Canada quarterly report

The survey's interviews were conducted between mid-November and early December, before oil prices and the dollar slid even further.

Some exporters, however, remained optimistic their sales will benefit from strengthening foreign demand over the coming year, particularly amid widespread expectations of growth in the U.S. economy.

The questionnaire also found that some firms believe the lower dollar will boost foreign sales and tourism-related business. But at the same time, the cheaper loonie hikes up the costs of products and services that companies need to import from outside Canada.

The Bank of Canada also released the results of its latest senior loan officer survey, which focuses on business-lending practices over the final three months of last year.

It found that overall lending conditions had become more difficult for firms during the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, overall demand for credit was roughly unchanged.




Organizations: Bank of Canada

Geographic location: OTTAWA, U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    January 13, 2016 - 14:06

    EXPORTS ARE ONLY UP BECAUSE OF OUR VERY WEAK DOLLAR. The value of our dollar has disappeared and they try to make you think it has something to do with the price of oil. All commodities are rigged. All stock markets are rigged. You and I are the simply one of the 7 billion gears in their monstrous machine. They are controlling this economic depression as best they can. Canada is now being bought up on the global market. They artificially depress economies so that they might better control them. As the controlled depression rolls on, the real end game is revealed. The rich and the corporations are starting to buy up all of the real tangible and physical assets. Are you starting to realize that you have very little control over very little around you.