Canada Small-Business Confidence Drops to Lowest in Six Years

A measure of confidence among Canadian small businesses dropped to the lowest since 2009 in July, with optimism weakest in Alberta and in the resource sector.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business Barometer index fell to 58.2 in July, the Toronto-based group said Thursday. That’s the lowest reading since mid-2009.

Optimism in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail industries are overshadowing positive outlooks in sectors including finance and professional services.

Measured on a scale of 0 to 100, a barometer index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. Index levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

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