07 Feb 2017

Atlantic Canada Business Confidence Index: Significant improvement in business confidence in the last six months

MONCTON, February 7: The results of the second wave of the Atlantic Canada Business Confidence Index (BCI), commissioned by TD Bank Group, reveal sharp growth in confidence across the region compared with six months ago. Indeed, after the initial results of the Index in mid-2016, there has been a 6.8-point spike in confidence with business leaders in Atlantic Canada citing increased expectations for revenue growth in the coming year and greater intentions to hire new employees.

Comparing results across provinces, Nova Scotia businesses now have the highest confidence (118.5), followed closely by PEI (116.1) and New Brunswick (113.6), while confidence in Newfoundland and Labrador trails (81.5), despite having increased notably in the last six months (up 10.4 points). Confidence in New Brunswick also grew significantly this wave (up 9.8 points).

“It’s encouraging to see business confidence increase, given the challenges in the economy over the last few years. This will hopefully lead to more investment and job creation in the coming year,” said Don Mills, Chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates.

Businesses continue to be much more optimistic regarding the prospects for their own companies than the economy overall, where cautiousness is still evident.

“We strive to inspire confidence and actively enable business development that drives our local communities and economy,” says Ali Massoudi, District Vice President NB & PEI, TD Commercial Banking. “Research like this can help us make more informed decisions for our customers as they look to organically grow their businesses focusing on core products and services in their markets.”

In terms of issues and challenges, businesses identify government and politics, high taxes, lack of population growth and lack of qualified employees. Reducing taxes and more support for small or local businesses were the two most common suggestions from survey participants for improving the business climate in Atlantic Canada.

Business leaders continue to believe that more could be done to foster a positive business environment in Atlantic Canada, while acknowledging that the business community itself could do more in this regard. Increasing collaboration with government and with other businesses continue to be identified the most frequently as a means of creating a more positive business environment in the region.

Despite continuing weak revenue growth that is evident in the private sector, there is some evidence of

modest hiring intentions and wage increases in the private sector for the coming year. These intentions are likely driven by an expectation of revenue growth and only about half the businesses expect such growth in their revenues in the coming year.

Methodology: This survey represents the second iteration of the study. Sponsored by TD, the Atlantic Canada Business Confidence Index is conducted online with business leaders across Atlantic Canada, including representation of companies from all major sectors of the economy and all sizes of organization. In total, 542 surveys were completed between December 1, 2016 and January 16, 2017.

Corporate Research Associates (CRA), www.cra.ca, is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. Founded in 1978, CRA is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. CRA is a Certified Gold Seal Member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), which sets stringent standards as a condition of membership, and enforces those standards through independent audits. Follow us on Twitter @CRAInsight.

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For more information or a copy of the report, please contact:

Don Mills, Chairman and CEO, Corporate Research Associates, 902 493 3838 or dmills@cra.ca

Margaret Chapman, Vice President, Corporate Research Associates, 902 493 3834 or mchapman@cra.ca

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Ce communiqué de presse est également offert en français.

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