Small Business Confidence Declines Again in Manitoba

Confidence Declines Again in Manitoba

WINNIPEG - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its latest monthly Business Barometer, which reveals optimism among Manitoba’s small business owners declined again in April to an index of 59.9, down from 61.2 in March. However, optimism remains above the national average index of 56.6.

“It is concerning to see that Manitoba's small business optimism continued to decline in April, with the index now at 59.9,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “However, short-term hiring plans improved slightly with 16 per cent of business owners planning on hiring staff, while 11 per cent foreseeing layoffs.”

“There are a number of clouds on the horizon as business owners across the country are facing many cost increases and much uncertainty,” added Alward. “In Manitoba, small business owners were looking to the recent provincial budget to provide much-needed tax relief, but were instead hit with a projected net tax increase of nearly $118 million.”

“It is even more important now that the provincial government stands up for small businesses by NOT following the federal government in limiting businesses’ access to the small business deduction based on passive investment revenue,” concluded Alward.

Nationally, small business confidence fell for the third consecutive month in April, with the CFIB’s Business Barometer® index dropping more than four points to 56.6; the third lowest reading in the past decade.

“The only other times confidence was this low, was during the 08-09 economic crisis and the 2015-16 energy price crunch” said Andreea Bourgeois, CFIB senior analyst. “Hiring plans remain weak for this time of year, although measures for general business health, investment plans and new orders are steady. With declines in confidence in all 10 provinces and 11 out of 13 industries, there’s just not a lot of optimism amongst Canada’s small business communities.”

Provincial Results: down across the board

Quebec returned to the top spot for small business confidence levels in the country at 68.7, despite dropping nearly four points in April. Nova Scotia fell seven, but still sits 12 points above the lagging national average. Saskatchewan also saw largest major confidence regression, falling 7.4 points to 54.6.

Confidence Index

Change from March




Nova Scotia



Prince Edward Island



British Columbia



New Brunswick















Newfoundland & Labrador



TOPICS:   Business News

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