Canada small business confidence up in May- survey

* Business barometer index at 67.3 in May

* Retailers most optimistic, survey shows

TORONTO, June 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Confidence among small and
medium-sized Canadian businesses ticked up in May, signaling
the economy is on track for sustained growth this year, a
survey showed on Wednesday.

A business barometer index, published by the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), rose to 67.3 for the
month, about a point above its previous level.

The industry group said the uptick suggests the economy is
growing at a “subdued, but sustainable annualized rate of about
3 percent.”

An index level above 50 means owners expecting stronger
business performance in the next year outnumber those expecting
weaker performance. Index levels normally range between 65 and
75 when the economy is growing, according to past results.

The survey comes as the Bank of Canada, spurred by
unexpectedly strong domestic economic data, raised its key
interest rate on Tuesday, the first G7 industrialized economy
to do so after the global recession. [ID:nN01264788]

But the central bank also warned about the potential impact
of the European debt crisis and uneven global recovery, making
its next move highly unpredictable.

The CFIB said Canadian retailers led the way in optimism,
notching an index level of 72.8, followed closely by firms in
the mining, oil and gas sectors, which yielded a reading of
71.2.

However, owners in agriculture, construction and
hospitality were less optimistic, all posting under 61.

Business owners in the provinces of Saskatchewan,
Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia were the most
optimistic with index scores above 70, while businesses in
Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were the least
optimistic with indexes under 65.

Business optimism is just under the national average in
Ontario and Quebec, while Alberta and New Brunswick businesses
have higher-than-average performance expectations, the survey
showed.

Investing Advice
(Reporting by Jennifer Kwan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

Canada small business confidence up in May- survey