The CFIB’s Business Barometer inched up two points to 63.8 in the month. An index reading above 50 means managers who expect their business to perform better in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. Levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing.
"For the most part, it appears Canadian business owners are not seeing much turbulence from the sovereign debt uncertainties in Europe and the U.S," said Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist for CFIB.
"Measures for new orders, inventories and overtime are up, compared to past months, and investment intentions have improved in all categories except vehicles."
As a result, job prospects are up with 18% of bosses planning to add full-time staff in the next few months versus 10% who plan to cut company headcount. The eight-point different is the largest on record for the this time of year, the CFIB said.
Alberta is still home to the most optimistic managers with an index reading of more than 70. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia businesses are at the opposite end of the scale in the low 60s. By sector, bosses working in transportation are most optimistic while those working in the agriculture and hospitality sectors are least hopeful things will improve.
The July 2011 findings are based on 931 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to - 3.2% 19 times in 20.