Canadian entrepreneurs have more confidence in the economy and plan to boost business investment to $97 billion in 2017, suggests a new study from the Business Development Bank of Canada.
70% of the entrepreneurs surveyed expect increased business revenue in 2017, a significant jump from the 45% who had the same expectation last year, the BDC report shows.
“This survey confirms the optimism we’re hearing from our business clients every day,” says Pierre Cléroux, BDC’s Vice President, Research, and Chief Economist. “Entrepreneurs are increasingly confident in the economy, with exporters leading the way in terms of investment intentions. Canadian businesses are ready to invest and they have growth on their minds.”
The survey of 4,000 executives at small and mid-sized enterprises conducted in August and September found renewed optimism coast to coast, with all provinces and territories showing higher expectations of sales growth than last year.
Alberta SMEs lead with a 17% jump in planned investments in 2017 versus 2016. Ontario foresees a 3% rise in investment intentions, Quebec expects a 0.6% increase. British Columbia and the territories anticipate a 5.4% decline in investment intentions.
“Our research also confirms technology is playing an increasingly important part in our economy. Greater investment will help Canadian companies get more productive and that’s key for staying competitive in the current business environment,” Cléroux says.
Technology firms show the most optimism, with an average of $410,000 in planned investments in 2017, up 41% from the amount they invested in 2016.
Top-cited obstacles to investment are lack of cash flow and lack of qualified personnel. Lack of confidence in the economy is no longer a top barrier to investment.