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Business confidence drops by 17 points to a five-year low

Barrie Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce deliver landmark agenda to grow economy and spur job creation



Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Barrie Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Mowat Centre, released the fifth and final iteration of Emerging Stronger.

A detailed economic agenda for Ontario and Barrie, Emerging Stronger 2016 identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance our local economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province as a whole.

Local businesses are increasingly unsure about the direction of the provincial economy, according to a new survey from the OCC and Leger.

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index, featured in Emerging Stronger 2016, shows that business confidence in the Ontario economy is at a five-year low.

Among the key findings of the Ontario Business Confidence Index: 

  • 30 percent of businesses believe the Ontario economy is going in the right direction, compared to 42 percent in 2012.
  • 48 percent of businesses plan to expand in the next five years, down 14 points from 2013.
  • The automotive/manufacturing sector is among the least confident in the province. Just 53 percent of businesses in that sector are confident in their own organization's economic outlook, compared to a 62 percent provincial average.

"We are seeing strong evidence of a significant downturn on business confidence which may have a strong effect on business growth and therefore job growth", said Barrie Chamber CEO Rod Jackson. "It's more critical than ever that the City of Barrie and especially the Ontario government take heed and work with local businesses to rebuild confidence and achieve some stability and certainty ." He added.

Some of the key areas that need to be addressed are: fostering a culture of innovation and smart risk-taking to become a productivity leader, building a 21st century workforce, improving the way government works, and strategically investing in our competitive advantages.

About the Ontario Business Confidence Index

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey of business opinion in the province (1,310 respondents, survey conducted in November 2015).

The margin of error for the survey is 2.71 percent, 19 times out of 20. The OCC began collecting this data in 2012.