Crushed Currency, Oil, Domestic Demand Broadside Small Businesses in Canada, Worst since March 2009…”Alberta Falls off the Chart.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016
By Paul Martin

by Wolf Richter
January 29, 2016

Owners of small businesses in Canada have been feeling the blues for months. And in January, their optimism dropped to the lowest level since March 2009, the trough of the Financial Crisis.

That’s what the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reported. Its Business Barometer has a scale between 0 and 100. A level above 50 indicates that owners who expect their businesses to be stronger over the next 12 months outnumber those who expect their businesses to be weaker.

But: “One normally sees an index level of between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.” That’s what the CFIB calls “normal economic growth.”

In January, the Barometer dropped to 54.3, the third monthly decline in a row, down from the post-Financial crisis peak in April 2011 of 70.6, and, as the report said, “about 10 points below the level associated with normal economic growth.” It was the worst level since March 2009:

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