Canadian firms feeling optimistic

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. (File Photo)

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney. (File Photo)

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

Canadian businesses have some new spring in their steps.

The Bank of Canada's spring survey of Canadian companies found a growing confidence that 2012 holds promise of higher sales than previously expected.

According to the survey, 58% of firms expect a boost in sales over the next twelve months. In January, when the central bank last released its business outlook survey, 37% of firms were expecting greater sales.

Companies have been eyeing improved expectations for the U.S. economy and a stabilizing global financial situation, and so many are considering boosting investments in new machinery, equipment and hires.

Still, despite a more positive outlook and the 82,300 mostly private sector jobs the economy created in March, the survey notes the percentage of companies that said they're facing labour shortages is below the numbers seen before the 2008 recession.

And firms are also predicting higher oil prices will create a drag on the economy.

Next week, the Bank of Canada will announce whether it plans to keep Canada's key interest rate at a near-historic low. It's held the rate at 1% since September 2010.

"We retain our expectation that the bank will wait until next year before raising interest rates," TD Economics' Leslie Preston said on Monday, echoing the expectations of many analysts.

The Bank of Canada will also release its monetary policy report — a quarterly report on inflation and growth in the Canadian economy — next week.

The bank polled 100 Canadian firms between Feb. 21 and March 15.

 


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