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The Pulse of Canadian Businesses? Not as Upbeat as We’d Like.

The outlook for Canadian businesses hit a two-year low in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to Statistics Canada’s latest Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), underlining a prevailing sense of pessimism in the industry.

To better understand the findings of the survey, our Business Data Lab has released an in-depth analysis of the nearly 16,000 Canadian employer responses, covering everything from key obstacles to expectations for the future to perspectives on emerging issues. It’s more than just data; it's a direct line to what businesses are experiencing and anticipating.

The findings show that, on the labour front, challenges are gradually easing for businesses, expecting a potential slowdown in wage growth in 2024. The majority of businesses identified some form of skill gap among their employees, with some considering interprovincial hires. Surveyed businesses also highlighted the impact of CEBA loans — notably, 28% have fully repaid, and optimistic projections suggest 76% will settle by 2026.

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