Economic optimism rises for Canadian business leaders

CPA Canada survey says protectionism and uncertainty about U.S. economy remain concerns

Mario ToneguzziCanadian business leaders are more optimistic about the prospects of the Canadian economy heading into the summer, according to a new survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The CPA Canada Business Monitor found that optimism about the economy over the next 12 months is up sharply among professional accountants in leadership positions who were surveyed.

“A better outlook among Canadian business leaders is always welcome and encouraging,” said Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada, in a news release. “However, it remains clear that there is still uncertainty, especially in relation to our large neighbour to the south.”

The top three challenges to the Canadian economy cited by participants in the most recent survey are:

  • protectionist trade sentiment in the U.S. (19 per cent);
  • uncertainty surrounding the Canadian economy (16 per cent);
  • the state of the U.S. economy (11 per cent).

Other key findings were:

  • 31 per cent of the survey respondents were optimistic in the second quarter of 2019, up from 22 per cent the previous quarter;
  •  24 per cent were pessimistic, while cautious neutrality continues to be the opinion of the largest group (44 per cent), very similar to last quarter (47 per cent);
  • half of those surveyed are optimistic about the prospects for their business over the next 12 months, with just 18 per cent pessimistic and 32 per cent neutral;
  •  heading into the second half of 2019, 61 per cent are predicting their businesses will see increased revenues, 58 per cent are foreseeing increased profits and 43 per cent are expecting to increase the number of their employees.

“As optimism was at 32 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, it is basically unchanged on a year-over-year basis. However, that is well down from the second quarter of 2017 when 50 per cent of respondents expressed an optimistic outlook,” said the CPA.

CPA Canada is one of the largest national accounting organizations in the world, representing more than 217,000 members.

© Calgary’s Business

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