OTTAWA — A new Bank of Canada poll suggests companies are optimistic about the year ahead — especially when it comes to sales growth, foreign demand and their investment plans.
The quarterly survey was conducted between mid-August and mid-September — before Canada agreed to an updated North American free trade deal that has alleviated some of the economic uncertainty.
The bank’s poll of senior managers from about 100 firms found that overall business sentiment in Canada was running at near-record levels.
The upbeat survey results are being released a little over a week before the Bank of Canada’s next policy decision — which is widely expected to be another interest rate hike.
After a strong year for the economy, the findings suggest most companies predict even faster sales growth over the next 12 months — although some firms expect their momentum to be limited by labour shortages, competition and regulation.
The bank’s business outlook survey says due to rising demand companies expect to invest even more into their operations over the coming year than they had predicted last summer.
The poll also found firms’ hiring intentions for the next 12 months came in lower than previous surveys — but that overall they still remained positive across regions and sectors.
The Canadian Press