Issue 18-118 CFIB Business Barometer Index

July 4, 2018

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) uses results from a survey of its members to create the Business Barometer Index, which measures small business confidence. British Columbia’s Business Barometer Index was 58.8 in June, unchanged from the previous month and ranking seventh among provinces.

Among British Columbian responders, 63% cited taxes and regulatory costs as major cost constraints, followed by wages (52%). Skilled labour shortages (47%) were the most popular response when businesses were asked about limitations on sales or production growth.

Nationally, the Business Barometer Index measured 62.2 in June, down 0.3 points from May. Business confidence varied greatly among provinces, ranging from a high of 74.5 in Prince Edward Island, to a low of 44.8 in Saskatchewan. The range is much smaller among most industrial sectors (59.8 to 65.7), with the exception of natural resources (41.7) and agriculture (47.4), which saw large declines in June.

For Canada as a whole, taxes and regulatory costs (65%), fuel and energy costs (59%), and wages (58%) were cited as the largest cost constraints. Skilled labour shortages (40%) were also the main limitation to sales or production growth.

Note that according to CFIB, an index above 50 signifies that owners that expect their business to perform better in the next year outnumber those that expect a weaker performance. CFIB suggests that an index level between 65 and 70 is to be expected when an economy is growing at its potential.

Data Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business