Businesses in Canada say things are looking up after a difficult year, as per a new Bank of Canada survey. One hundred companies were polled in May and June.
Sales are expected to increase in the next year according to 61% of senior managers polled in the quarterly business survey. This is the first positive forecast for sales from a majority of execs surveyed since the 3rd quarter of 2008. In the past year, sales went down according to 69% of respondents, which was a record amount for this poll.
In addition, more companies plan to do more hiring in the next 12 months (39%) than those who plan to lay off employees (17%).
The Bank of Canada comments that in general their results show that businesses expect the economy to improve, but slowly, still conservative about investing.
This is an extremely positive outlook for Canada and as well for the US. But the companies surveyed still don't see US demand increasing in a big way next year. So they estimate that they will spend less on investing in the upcoming year. The results in this area have been negative for the past 2 years as well.
And despite some claiming to have reduced their production capabilities already at this point; the bank says very few businesses report that they would have a hard time meeting unforeseen swells in demand. A greater number of businesses also believe their product prices will be lower next year.
Senior loan officers, polled separately, reported that in the second quarter of 2009 the conditions for lending continued to contract. However, this time the bank explained that the tighter lending was industry-specific than in previous surveys and found more in such areas as the auto sector, forestry products and transportation.
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