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Full-time hiring intentions of Canada’s small businesses reached a post-recession high in March with 27 percent of owners reporting plans to hire full-time staff in the next few months, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
However, only 38 percent of entrepreneurs say their businesses are in “good” shape, which is down from the low-40s reported through 2012, according to the CFIB. In comparison, 14 percent of owners say their businesses are in “bad” shape.
The CFIB’s business barometer index dropped to a reading of 62.9 in March, down three-and-a-half points from February’s reading. Readings above 50 mean owners who expect their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.
“The numbers show a decline in optimism, but they’re in line with what we saw in late 2012,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. “It’s too soon to say if March’s results mark a shift away from the trend of January and February.”
The February 2013 findings are based on 1,121 responses from CFIB members to a controlled-access Web survey. CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members.