The retail sector showed its lowest level of optimism for the next three months, with 30.4 index points down nine points from December. Short-term prospects were also seen in hospitality (32.0), personal services (39.3), and health and education services (41.8).
Other occupational health indicators remain at low levels since early January and full-time workforce plans are still in the red, with 23% of companies expecting layoffs in the next three months and only 16% expecting to be hired. Huh.
Supply chain problems are on the rise as businesses cite shortages of input goods (29%) and distribution difficulties (23%), respectively, as major barriers restricting their expansion. Furthermore, the unsold stock fell as much as 58% compared to 68% in December.
Andrea Bourgeois, director of economics at the CFIB, said, “Small businesses have been facing supply chain challenges from mid-2021 onwards, from a shortage of products to increased input costs, but the issue is now gaining momentum.” “It only adds to the uncertainty many small businesses are facing.”
In a commentary, TD economist Ksenia Bushmeneva underscored the importance of these findings, noting that the Omicron variant hitting Canada hurts the prospects of Canadian small enterprises, especially in areas where additional regulations have been implemented. .