Survey: Canadian Economic Decline Slowing

Optimism among Canadian manufacturers and exporters is growing, with more firms expecting to increase employment and fewer firms planning layoffs in the coming months.

OTTAWA -- Optimism is growing among Canadian manufacturers and exporters for the next three months, according to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters' March Business Conditions Survey.

"It's a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak outlook," said CME President, Jayson Myers in response to the survey results. "I believe the real economic impacts are still to be felt, but it is encouraging news that the economic decline appears to be slowing."

Forty-nine percent of firms expect orders to decrease between March and June, down seven percentage points from February's 56 percent. Thirteen percent of companies expect to increase employment over the next three months, up from 11 percent in February. And the number of firms planning lay-offs also shrunk over the past month, decreasing from 45 to 42 percent.

Despite the good news in terms of sales and employment, the credit crunch is still an issue for all manufacturers and exporter with 59 percent reporting difficulties accessing financing.

"Accessing credit continues to be a major hurdle for companies of all sizes to overcome during this major economic downturn," Myers added. "We need to put pieces of the credit puzzle together quickly or we will see more companies, even very innovative and productive companies, laying off more workers and going out business. If companies cannot access credit soon, the financial meltdown could translate into a Canadian industrial meltdown."

Click here to view the full report.

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