Bank of Canada Business Outlook Survey: Spring 2014 Results

Bank of Canada

 The spring Business Outlook Survey offers encouraging signs for the economic outlook, although responses indicate that headwinds from intense competition and domestic uncertainty persist. The Business Outlook Survey summarizes interviews conducted by the bank’s regional offices with the senior management of about 100 firms selected in accordance with the composition of Canada’s gross domestic product. The spring 2014 survey was conducted from 18 February to 13 March 2014.


•Responses to the spring survey suggest that 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.

•Businesses reported some improvement in past sales activity, and continue to anticipate an increase in sales growth over the next 12 months. Exportoriented firms generally expect sales to gradually strengthen, while those with a more domestic focus often cited efforts to enter new markets or develop new products following weak past sales. Plans to increase investment in machinery and equipment are similar to those in the winter survey, but have improved somewhat among manufacturers. Hiring plans are also positive.

•More firms indicate that they are operating close to capacity, yet reports of labour shortages have edged down. Firms expect upward pressure on input price inflation, largely reflecting the recent depreciation of the Canadian dollar, but the pass-through of these pressures into output prices is expected to be mitigated by strong competition. Inflation expectations are essentially unchanged and remain concentrated in the bottom half of the Bank’s 1 to 3 per cent inflation-control range.

•Firms report a slight easing in credit conditions over the past three months. 

The balance of opinion can vary between +100 and -100. Percentages may not add to 100 because of rounding. Additional information on the survey and its content is available on the Bank of Canada’s website. The survey results summarize opinions expressed by the respondents and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bank of Canada. Find out more:


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