Manitoba Small Biz Optimism Climbs in May

Manitoba Small Biz Optimism Climbs in May

Winnipeg, May 25, 2017 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest Business Barometer® index, which shows that small business optimism in Manitoba increased three points in May to an index of 66.4, compared to 63.5 in April. The Manitoba index now sits slightly above the national index of 66.0.

“After three straight months of declines, it’s encouraging to see optimism climb above the national index in May. Manitoba’s index is now almost nine points ahead of its May, 2016 index of 57.7,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “Short-term hiring plans continue to improve, with 15 per cent of business owners looking to hire and eight per cent looking to lay off.”

Canada’s small business optimism increased by another point and a half in May, bringing the CFIB’s monthly Business BarometerÒ Index to the 66.0 mark, the best level in two and a half years.

“Nationally, the Index has now recovered its losses from the resource price crunch of late 2014,” said Ted Mallett, Chief Economist at CFIB. “However, improvement was narrowly based regionally, largely coming from the West, and seasonal factors likely contributed to improvements in the Atlantic provinces.”

British Columbia (69.4) saw another increase in May, climbing to top spot in the country, while strong improvements in Alberta (61.9) and Manitoba (66.4) helped bolster the national confidence level. There was some pick-up in the Atlantic region, with Newfoundland & Labrador (45.3) and Prince Edward Island (67.9) making gains, though Nova Scotia (64.4) and New Brunswick (60.2) saw a slight fall back. Ontario (68.2) and Quebec (65.0) saw small slips, while Saskatchewan (49.1) saw a sharp decline.

Results and the full report are available at: www.cfib-fcei.ca/english/barometer.

Highlights of the Manitoba Business Barometer for May:

·         40% of small businesses in Manitoba say their overall state of business is good (43% nationally); 11% say it is bad (11% nationally).

·         15% of Manitoba small businesses plan to increase full-time employment in the next 3-4 months (21% nationally), and 8% plan to decrease employment (11% nationally).

·         Insufficient domestic demand remains the main operating challenge (39%), followed by management skills/time constraints (33%), and shortage of skilled labour (28%).

·         Major cost pressures for small business include: tax/regulatory costs (63%), wage costs (51%), and insurance costs (43%).