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Manitoba’s business barometer index posts strong gain in May

Manitoba small business owners are getting their mojo back, according to the latest monthly survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The CFIB said Manitoba’s business barometer index posted another strong gain in May, jumping 2.7 points to 66.3 from 63.6 in April. That’s a big improvement from February of this year, when the index dropped to 58.7.

"Hiring plans are also just about as strong as a year ago," the federation said, "with 27 per cent planning to add full-time staff, versus only seven per cent who expect to cut back."

However, confidence levels here are still below the national average of 67.1 for May, and still far below levels for the other three western provinces, said Elliot Sims, the CFIB’s director of provincial affairs for Manitoba.

"While other provinces have small business sectors growing at or above their economic potential, Manitoba continues to struggle," Sims said. "The provincial government’s commitment to increase pension payroll taxes will only make the situation worse." The CFIB said confidence levels are highest in British Columbia, which had a May index reading of 74.1. The least optimistic business owners continue to be in the Maritimes, with sub-60 index levels in all three provinces.

 

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