The CFIB said in a news release the barometer reading was 61.5 in September, compared to 57 per cent in August.
“While volatility in small business confidence exists, there are signs the economy is stronger than otherwise expected,” said Vaughn Hammond, director of CFIB provincial affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. “The general state of business health is the strongest in the country, showing that small business owners are not letting lower oil prices affect their decisions.”
Here are some other findings from the latest CFIB Business Barometer survey:
• Short-term hiring plans are weak as 22 per cent of small business owners intend to add full-time staff in the next three months, while six per cent of businesses expect to cut back on employees;
• 62 per cent of entrepreneurs characterized the general state of their business health as “good” in August and five per cent described it as “bad”;
• Insufficient domestic demand was identified as the biggest challenge for small business in Newfoundland and Labrador. Thirty-two per cent of entrepreneurs surveyed said it was a limitation on their sales or production growth. The major constraint in August was wage cost, identified by 62 per cent of respondents;
• The national Business Barometer Index is 56.0 in September.
• Across Canada, entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia (63.7) were the most optimistic about the economy and the future prospects for their business, followed by British Columbia (62.9), Newfoundland and Labrador (61.5), New Brunswick (61.4), Prince Edward Island (60.0), Ontario and Saskatchewan, (59.9), Quebec (59.5), Manitoba (54.0), and Alberta (34.0).
More details about the Business Barometer are available at www.cfib.ca.