REPEAT: BMO Annual Business Outlook for 2013: Canadian

REPEAT: BMO Annual Business Outlook for 2013: Canadian Businesses
More Reliant on Trade with the United States 
Report Reveals Canadian Retail Sector Most Likely to have Stronger
Trade Ties With the U.S. 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 09/27/12 -- In today's uncertain
global economy, Canadian businesses are becoming increasingly reliant
on trade with the United States, according to the 2013 edition of the
annual Business Outlook from BMO Bank of Montreal. By comparison,
reliance on trade with other export markets, including Asia, Europe
and Mexico remains relatively unchanged.  
The report, conducted by Pollara, shows the majority of Canadian
businesses expect the Canadian and U.S. economies will improve next
year, while pessimism remains on the prospects for Europe. According
to the poll: 

--  Overall, 39 per cent of Canadian business owners say they are reliant on
    the U.S. for trade - up eight percentage points from last year 
--  For large businesses (greater than 50 employees), 61 per cent are
    reliant on trade south of the border 
--  One in four large businesses plan to expand their operations into the
    U.S. in 2013 
--  Only 16 per cent say they are reliant on Asian markets; 13 per cent are
    reliant on Europe, and eight per cent on Mexico 

"Canadian businesses are showing a growing level of confidence in the
prospects for the North American economy, and they continue to look
for opportunities to grow beyond our borders," said Cathy Pin,
Vice-President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "What is
most interesting is that while Canadian businesses may have looked to
diversify their supply chains and sales markets beyond the U.S.
during the economic downturn, we are now seeing them once again look
south for growth opportunities. Clearly, our proximity and
familiarity with U.S. markets continues to be a strong factor when
businesses make expansion plans." 
"The U.S. share of Canadian trade has dropped from over 80 per cent
near the end of the 1990s to approximately 68 per cent, but has
stabilized in recent years," said Robert Kavcic, Economist, BMO
Capital Markets. "The broader trend, however, is likely to remain one
of trade diversification to countries outside the U.S." 
Canadian Business Reliance on Trade  

Reliance on market                   Province/Region of Canadian Business   
                         NATIONAL    BC    AB   Prairies    ON    QC    ATL 
UNITED STATES                  39%   39%   40%        57%   42%   32%    34%
ASIA                           16%   15%   11%        27%   17%   14%    16%
EUROPE                         13%   17%    9%        19%   13%   10%    11%
MEXICO                          8%   11%    7%        19%    8%    5%     6%

The study also found that for specific sectors and their reliance on
trade with the United States, Canadian retail businesses showed the
strongest degree of reliance at 49 per cent. This compares to: 

--  Manufacturing - 46 per cent 
--  Business & Financial - 41 per cent 
--  Agriculture - 38 per cent 
--  Services - 28 per cent 
--  Construction - 22 per cent 

Retail businesses also had the highest level of reliance in Asian
markets (27 per cent) and Mexico (18 per cent). For European trade,
Canadian manufacturing - at 21 per cent - was the strongest level of
Business Confidence in Economies 
The survey found that 39 per cent of owners believe the Canadian
economy will improve next year, compared to only nine per cent who
believe it will worsen. 46 per cent believe it will remain about the
United States 
Looking to the United States, the 41 per cent of Canadian business
owners believe that economy will improve, 28 per cent expect it will
be the same as 2012, and 16 per cent say it will worsen. Among owners
of companies who say they are reliant on U.S. trade, 52 per cent
believe the economy will improve. This number increases for owners of
large companies who are reliant on the U.S. for trade (61 per cent
say it will improve). 
Canadian business owners are more pessimistic about Europe (improve
18 per cent, worsen 31 per cent). For those that rely on trade with
Europe, 38 per cent expect the economy to worsen. 
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h-management/global-solutionsor contact your BMO Bank of Montreal 
The telephone survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights
between August 13 and September 5, using a sample of 500 Canadian
business owners. Results carry a margin of error of +/-4.4 per cent,
19 times out of 20. 
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than
46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
Media Contacts:
Paul Cunliffe, Toronto
(416) 867-3996 
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224 
Twitter: @BMOmedia
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