Survey finds more optimism or hiring, spending

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada’s latest sampling of business sentiment shows company confidence in the economy is turning decidedly positive, and that may be good news for Canadian workers.

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada’s latest sampling of business sentiment shows company confidence in the economy is turning decidedly positive, and that may be good news for Canadian workers.

The influential quarterly survey of 100 representative firms shows that hiring intentions in March were the most positive in almost two years, with executives also pointing to higher sales over the past year and better prospects for future sales.

“Responses to the spring survey suggest than an improving U.S. economy and the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar, together with firms’ efforts to create new opportunities, are helping to support expectations for better growth prospects ahead,” the bank said in a summary of the survey results.

The relatively sunny report appeared to boost markets as the dollar flipped from negative to positive following the 10:30 a.m. release. It was up 0.10 cents to 91.17 cents US at middday.

The findings are generally in line with improving confidence about the Canadian economy in general. Many economists now forecast a spring rebound in growth following the weather-related dip in the winter, with expansion continuing at a modest pace throughout the year.

“The increasing optimism of Canadian businesses is a good sign of where the Canadian economy will be heading over the next year,” said TD Bank economist Connor McDonald.

“A strong economic outlook for the U.S. and a weaker loonie will continue to support future sales and help drive modest Canadian growth.”

It was not all positive. Firms took note of the “strong competition” they face, which should temper sales growth, and that the higher prices that they expect for inputs won’t be fully passed along to customers.

The survey, which takes the temperature of business sentiment across a number of fronts, was conducted between March 10 and 17 and is sometimes cited by the central bank in its economic forecasts and interest rate setting decisions.

In a recent statement, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said he would pay more attention to anecdotal evidence and such surveys to inform the central bank’s outlook.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

Bower Place gets okay to redevelop

Red Deer municipal planning commission approves plans

WATCH: Marijuana in the Workplace information luncheon held in Red Deer

Central Alberta businesses need to prepare for the legalization of marijuana. That… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month