BMO Small Business Confidence Report: Canadian Business Owners' Optimism Drops Slightly From Six Months Ago

BMO Small Business Confidence Report: Canadian Business Owners' Optimism Drops 
Slightly From Six Months Ago 
- Pullback in confidence reflects the economic slowdown due to
inclement weather - BMO Economics  
- More than half of Canadian business owners expect 2014 will be a
better year for business; 44 per cent anticipating business growth  
- Business confidence varies for B.C., Alberta, Prairies, Ontario,
Quebec, and Atlantic Canada 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/10/14 -- According to the
semi-annual BMO Small Business Confidence Report released today,
Canadian business owners' confidence in the state of the economy and
their business prospects dropped slightly compared to the latter half
of 2013, but is still up from a year ago.  
The BMO Small Business Confidence Report is designed to produce an
index score that measures the level of confidence small business
owners have in the economy and their business prospects based on a
series of key indicators, including their predictions for
performance, economic outlook, growth expectations and plans for
investment. As a single-figure snapshot of small business confidence,
the current index score would register at 65 out of 100 - down
slightly from last fall (70 out of 100), but up from 59 out of 100 a
year ago.  
The report revealed an upturn in confidence between the spring and
fall of 2013, likely reflecting the weaker Canadian dollar, stronger
U.S. economy and solid GDP growth in the second half of last year.  
While the confidence score has dropped slightly over the past six
months, the majority of business owners across the country share a
positive outlook for the year ahead, with those in British Columbia
and Alberta recording the highest score. 
"With the U.S. economy experiencing an uptick, Canadian companies
could benefit from looking beyond traditional markets to find new
buyers for their products and grow their business," said Steve
Murphy, Head, Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.
"With impressive growth continuing in emerging economies - such as
China, India, Brazil and south of the Canadian border - it's
important for business owners to tap into these markets as they
represent another avenue for business success."  
BMO Small Business Confidence Index Scores 


 
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OUTLOOK                             NATIONAL   BC   ABPRAIRES   ON   QC  ATL
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Confidence Index                                                            
 Score            Spring 2014             65   69   70     61   67   58   63
                  ----------------------------------------------------------
                  Fall 2013               70   74   73     60   70   70   68
                  ----------------------------------------------------------
                  Spring 2013             59   64   59     54   59   57   62
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2014 - A Better Year for Businesses: The majority of business owners
across the country share a positive outlook for the year ahead.  


 
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                                Overall  B.C.   AB  PRAIRIES   ON   QC  ATL 
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Believe 2014 will be better for                                             
 business                            56%   68%  68%       55%  57%  42%  43%
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Believe 2014 will be worse for                                              
 business                            17%   15%  19%       30%  13%  16%  26%
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View on the Economy: Nearly half of Canadian business owners believe
the economy will be better in 2014.  


 
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                                Overall  B.C.   AB  PRAIRIES   ON   QC  ATL 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Expect the economy to be better                                             
 in 2014                             47%   61%  56%       52%  49%  26%  44%
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Expect the economy to be worsen                                             
 in 2014                              9%    8%   8%       15%   9%   9%   9%
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Growth Prospects: The number of businesses that expect their company
to grow next year is nearly 10 times that of those who expect to see
their company shrink. 


 
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                                Overall  B.C.   AB  PRAIRIES   ON   QC  ATL 
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Expect business to grow in 2014      44%   49%  51%       44%  46%  34%  50%
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Expect business to shrink in                                                
 2014                                11%   12%   6%       24%   7%  14%   9%
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Investing in 2014: More than one-quarter plan to invest in their
business this year.  


 
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                                Overall  B.C.   AB  PRAIRIES   ON   QC  ATL 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plan to invest more in 2014          28%   27%  31%       30%  31%  25%  21%
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Plan to invest less in 2014          18%   14%  12%       24%  16%  29%  12%
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Small business owners can take advantage of BMO's Online Banking for
Business platform, which can assist them in making important foreign
exchange transactions effectively. "BMO's Online Banking for Business
allows organizations to manage all aspects of their treasury needs -
including global cash management to foreign exchange services,
investments, loans, and trade finance - all from a user-friendly home
page," added Mr. Murphy. 
For more information on BMO's cross-border cash management solutions,
please visit our website or contact a local BMO branch
representative.  
Results cited above come from a Pollara telephone survey with 502
Canadian business owners, conducted between March 7 and March 24,
2014. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 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 financial services organization based in North
America. The bank offers a broad range of retail banking, wealth
management and investment banking products and services to more than
12 million customers. BMO Financial Group had total assets of $593
billion and more than 45,500 employees at January 31, 2014. 
Contacts:
Media Contacts:
Russell Baker, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
russell.baker@bmo.com 
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com 
Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia
 
 
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