November 18, 2014
The Sage Business Index has found that Canadian business confidence is at a four-year high with more than half of Canadian businesses predicting growth in revenue and more than a third anticipate an increase in staff in the next 12 months.
For the first time in four years, businesses around the world are more optimistic than pessimistic, with scores rising above 50 points across all three areas surveyed: their own prospects, their national economies, and the global economy.
Similarly, Canadian businesses are increasingly optimistic about their own prospects, with confidence rising 0.68 to 67.48 over the last year, 3.34 points above the global average of 64.14. While businesses believe the Canadian economy is improving, confidence has fallen 3.39 points to 56.04 over the last 12 months. They are also less optimistic about the global economy, with confidence down 1.35 points to 51.20 over the last year.
The global rise in confidence is apparent in businesses’ predictions for the year ahead. More than half of Canadian business decision makers (54%) expect revenue to grow in the next year by an average of 2.5% (in line with global respondents). More than one-third (37%) also anticipate that the number of people employed by their company will increase in the next year by 1.6 people on average, compared with just 9% who say they expect to reduce staffing levels.
Canadian businesses have also become more open to risk with more than half (53%) of Canadian business decision makers describing themselves as risk seekers, up 1% from last year. This puts them well above the global average (49% risk seeking), but marginally behind their U.S. counterparts (54%).
“It’s encouraging that Canadian businesses have a bright outlook about their future growth,” said Nancy Harris, senior vice president and general manager, Sage Canada, a supplier of business management software and services. “They are the main drivers of the economy, and their ability to thrive and succeed is what will make Canada a better place to do business.
“However, bureaucratic and legislative challenges are hindering small and medium-size businesses from reaching their full potential. They have expressed a desire for support to overcome these challenges, and it’s important for their voices to be heard so every effort can be made to create a positive business environment for further growth.”