As we head into the Christmas season, small business optimism in Saskatchewan has actually declined slightly.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Saskatchewan's business barometer index for November sits at 52.3. it was at 52.7 last month which was an improvement from 50.9 in September. Nationally, the index shows signs of improvement. The national index moved up two points from October to 59.3 this month. Vice-President, Prairie and Agri-business, Marilyn Braun-Pollon says Saskatchewan's index is the third lowest in Canada. She says, "It's also concerning to see short-term employment plans deteriorating even more, with 23 per cent of business owners planning layoffs." That's a record high for layoffs in the province. Only ten per cent of owners are looking to hire in the next three months.
Measured on a scale of 0 to 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their business performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. Levels normally range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.