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Economic optimism highest in two years


September 23, 2013
By Canadian Pizza

Sept. 23, 2013, Canada – Optimism about the Canadian economy is sharply climbing to its highest level since 2011, according to the Q3 Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA) Business Monitor.

Thirty-seven per cent of the respondents surveyed are optimistic about
how the national economy will perform over the next 12 months. In both
the first and second quarters of this year, only 26 per cent were
optimistic. Fifty-six per cent of those surveyed are neutral and just under 10 per cent are pessimistic.

While there have been wide spread fluctuations since the quarterly
surveys began, economic optimism is now at its highest level since Q2
2011 when 43 per cent of the respondents felt good about the prospects
for the Canadian economy. The highest level of optimism for the
on-going research is 67 per cent, recorded in the second and third
quarters of 2007.

"The increase in economic optimism is certainly positive but it must be
put into perspective," says Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of the CPA Canada, in a media statement. "While very
few of the respondents are pessimistic, the majority are still not
prepared to express optimism. Hopefully, further upswings in optimism
lie ahead."

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The state of the U.S. economy is viewed as the biggest challenge to
economic growth by survey respondents (43 per cent) followed by
uncertainty surrounding the Canadian economy (18 per cent).

Company optimism is up slightly from last quarter. Fifty per cent are
optimistic about how their company will perform over the next 12 months
compared with 47 per cent the previous quarter.

No significant changes are emerging in projections for revenues and
profits with the majority of respondents still anticipating increases.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents expect their revenues to grow in the
next year and 59 per cent are forecasting an increase in profits.

Despite an increase in economic optimism, the third quarter survey found
that fewer respondents are forecasting an increase in employee numbers
at their companies. Thirty-four per cent of the respondents expect
employee numbers at their company to increase in the next 12 months,
down from 40 per cent the previous quarter. Forty-seven per cent of the
respondents anticipate no change and 19 per cent expect a drop.

Looking forward, some hiring challenges may be looming. Two-thirds of
those surveyed believe that Canada does not have enough skilled workers
and professionals to fill certain positions. In addition, roughly
seven-in-ten (71 per cent) anticipate that their organization will have
difficulty filling a skilled position over the next two years: 39 per
cent referenced skilled trades, 22 per cent middle management, 15 per
cent professional positions, 14 per cent senior management and 11 per
cent stated other. More than one response could be provided.
Twenty-nine per cent of those surveyed do not anticipate difficulty in
filling any types of skilled positions.

When asked what steps their company takes to hire skilled workers,
asking employees to refer potential candidates was the number one
response (56 per cent). Using recruiting firms to source talent within
the province was next at 49 per cent.

"It makes sense for organizations to seek assistance from their
employees," says Dancey. "Employees understand the operation and
recognize that it is their reputation on the line when recommending
someone for a position."


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