June 13, 2024

Business Expectations Index Signals Budding Optimism As Interest Rates Fall, But Labour Disputes Could Spoil The Party


KELOWNA – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce Business Data Lab (BDL) has just released its Q2 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions Report, which shows budding business optimism, after the Bank of Canada’s first interest rate cut in five years was announced last week.

The BDL’s Business Expectations Index moved into positive territory for the first time in the past year. While British Columbia scored on the low side, at 101.8, it matched the Canadian average.

Maryse Harvey, President & Chair of the Kelowna Chamber, spoke to the business prospects post-rate cut. “Our local businesses continue to address the high cost of doing business but are finding ways to succeed. One of the key challenges is cost of borrowing, and labour – we’re hearing these as focuses for the next quarter.”

Analyzing responses from over 15,000 companies nationwide through Statistics Canada’s quarterly Survey on Business Conditions, the Q2 report highlights key obstacles, future expectations, and views on emerging issues. It reveals a growing optimism among Canadian businesses following the Bank of Canada’s recent interest rate cut.

“The Chamber is convening sectoral roundtables to hear from members about the pressures they face on key topics including labour, housing and property crime – and to guide our advocacy efforts. While issues tend to be similar across the country, every region has their own issues around cost-related pressures and we need to keep a close eye on what these are in the Okanagan,” said Harvey. “It was good to see in the report that 11 of 16 sectors showed an improved outlook in the survey of 15,000 businesses across the country. However, Kelowna has a majority of micro firms with one to four employees, and these are showing more stress in keeping financially afloat than the more optimistic larger firms of 100 or more employees,” she concluded. “So: we remain vigilant when it comes to monitoring inflation.”

The BDL reports, including this Q2 report, draw from a variety of data sources, including custom tabulations from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), Environics Analytics’ Opticks eShopper database, as well as public sources.

The Canadian Chamber’s Business Data lab was established in 2022 with financial support from the Government of Canada. Working in collaboration with Statistics Canada the BDL’s goal is to advance how we understand Canadian businesses by providing real-time and future-focused insights for companies of every size, sector and region of the country. The BDL’s work is under the direction of the Canadian Chamber’s Chief Economist, Stephen Tapp.

Maryse Harvey is President & Chair of the Kelowna Chamber



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