Economic optimism declines

By The IJ Staff | April 10 2018 09:45AM

Optimism about the Canadian economy has dropped significantly amid views that the country is becoming less competitive, according to a survey of business leaders released April 10 by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

The Q1 2018 CPA Canada Business Monitor – a report based on a survey of professional accountants in business leadership positions – found that optimism in Q1 2018 was down to 34 per cent from 48 per cent in Q4 2017. This is the lowest level of optimism since 2016, observes CPA Canada.

In addition, sixty-seven per cent of business leaders surveyed said that Canada is now a less competitive place to invest and do business in versus the United States compared to one year ago.

Top challenges

The top challenges facing the Canadian economy cited by respondents are: U.S. trade protectionism (30 per cent), uncertainty in the Canadian economy (16 per cent) and U.S. tax reforms (7 per cent).

"Uncertainty is dominating, especially with growing protectionist trade sentiments and tax changes in the U.S.," says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. "Canadian business leaders are looking for assurance from the federal government that the situation is being properly monitored to allow a course of action to be developed that will keep Canada competitive."

The survey also showed that 84 per cent of the business leaders agree that a detailed analysis of U.S. tax reforms to assess the potential impact on Canada is urgently needed.