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Bank of Canada Survey Reveals Positive Business Sentiment

According to the Bank of Canada’s latest business outlook survey, Canadian companies are optimistic about the future. In fact, the survey found that firms were planning to boost their investments and hire more workers. This finding comes after the country added 79,000 jobs in December 2017, pushing the jobless rate to its lowest level since 1976.

Other interesting takeaways from the survey include the following:

  • Expectations for sales activity remain positive but point to some moderation ahead. Many firms expect stable sales growth, particularly in the goods sector and from domestic customers.
  • Firms are expected to expand operations to accommodate sustained demand. Hiring intentions have increased since the fall of 2017, particularly in the service sector.
  • Despite increased hiring at the end of 2017, labour shortages are becoming more common. Such shortages are common in the information technology, tourism, hospitality, construction and real estate sectors.
  • Firms saw an acceleration in the pace of past sales, reflecting recent healthy demand growth.
  • Despite capacity constraints and growing labour shortages, inflation expectations were modest or unchanged from prior surveys.

The survey findings weren’t all positive, however. Specifically, the survey noted increasing concern about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to terminate. To learn more about these and other findings, read the original survey here.

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