Canadian economy cooling down in the third and fourth quarters, according to new CFIB forecasts

CFIB launches a new quarterly report with short-term economic forecasts, an update of its data series on job vacancies and a special look at the financial situation of small businesses

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2022 /CNW/ - Total GDP grew by a mere 0.3% in Q3 2022, dampened by low business sentiment, although a certain rebound is anticipated over Q4 (+1.9%), according to a new report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Retail sales also declined in Q3 2022, with a growth rate of -0.6%; while some improvement should be seen in Q4, growth will remain below average and likely negative in real terms.

Those are some of the headline results from The Main Street Quarterly, CFIB's new economic publication. CFIB and consulting firm AppEco have partnered to develop early short-term economic forecasts of some key macroeconomic indicators, leveraging the timeliness of CFIB's Your Business Outlook survey, the same survey used to create CFIB's Monthly Business Barometer®. The Main Street Quarterly also contains CFIB's latest estimates of private sector job vacancies, and an 'In Focus' section covering a specific topic each quarter; the current issue focuses on borrowing costs and debt for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

"CFIB is now providing key information on the state of the Canadian economy in real time from a small business perspective, in addition to making short-term forecasts," said Simon Gaudreault, Chief Economist and Vice-President of Research at CFIB. "This should serve as a useful tool for policy-makers and financial institutions in making decisions that impact small businesses."

Job vacancies remained high, but the vacancy rate started to decrease in the third quarter

The private sector continued to see high job vacancy rates (4.9%) in the third quarter of 2022, with more than 660,000 jobs going unfilled for at least four months.

"After reaching new highs in previous quarters, private sector job vacancies saw a small decline but remained bullish in Q3, with Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia showing the highest vacancy rates," said Laure-Anna Bomal, CFIB research analyst. "Although this quarter's drop in the vacancy rate is the first in many quarters, several other indicators are still showing historical labour market tightness, therefore it is too soon to conclude we have turned the corner."

Many businesses still in a dire financial situation, 4 in 10 haven't started repaying their pandemic debt

To survive the pandemic, 65% of small firms resorted to taking on federal government loans, while 24% used credit cards and 23% used lines of credit. On average, 40% of small businesses have not yet repaid any of their pandemic-related debt. Moreover, 55% of small businesses report that their financial situation, including debts taken on due to the pandemic, poses a significant challenge.

"The recovery is still far from a done deal for too many small businesses. We hope that publications like The Main Street Quarterly can raise awareness on the current reality of Canadian entrepreneurs while CFIB continues to fight for measures that can improve the business climate," added Gaudreault.

Read the first issue of The Main Street Quarterly here.

About CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners' chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.

About AppEco

AppEco is a consulting firm specializing in economic and strategic analysis. It possesses in-depth technical expertise and delivers first-class services in applied economics: economic impact studies, surveys and polls, cost-benefit analyses, modelling, econometrics, pricing, etc. Its mission is to provide useful services that contribute to economic growth and the success of clients' projects. AppEco works with firms of all sizes, from small to multinationals, as well as governments and non-profit organizations. Learn more at appeco.ca/en.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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