Entrepreneurial Confidence Brings Positive Investment Outlook

Canadian entrepreneurs’ confidence in the economy is strong and their investment intentions are above pre-crisis levels, says BDC’s ‘Canadian Entrepreneurs’ 2022 Investment Outlook.’ The annual survey of investment intentions finds that the percentage of entrepreneurs who expect their sales to improve or remain stable has steadily increased since April 2020, returning to pre-pandemic levels due to the reopening of the economy. The Canadian economy is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in early 2022. About 84 per cent of businesses are planning to either maintain their current level of investment (64 per cent) or to invest more (20 per cent) in the next 12 months. This has increased by one percentage point since spring 2021 and by eight percentage points since December 2020. “Fear of new lockdowns is slowly fading, thanks to vaccination, and businesses are optimistic for 2022. However, a persisting labour shortage, as well as supply chain disruptions linked to the reopening have emerged and will limit investments,” says Pierre Cléroux, vice-president, research and chief economist, BDC. “Our study finds that for the first time since March 2020, labour shortages are starting to hold back investments for a growing number of businesses, even though cash flow and demand have improved.” The study says that over half of entrepreneurs surveyed (55 per cent) already had difficulties in hiring qualified workers, the highest proportion since BDC started its surveys in 2019.