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Canadian Chamber’s Business Data Lab Releases Key Findings from Q4 2023 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions

Canadian Chamber’s Business Data Lab Releases Key Findings from Q4 2023 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions

Insights into business sentiment, labour dynamics, and economic challenges across Canada.

Ottawa, December 13, 2023 — Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Business Data Lab shares critical insights into the state of Canadian businesses with the release of the Q4 2023 Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC) report. Conducted in collaboration with Statistics Canada, this comprehensive analysis provides a deep dive into the pulse of Canadian businesses, offering a nuanced understanding of their sentiments, challenges and expectations.

The CSBC Report is key to understanding the current state of Canadian businesses. It’s more than just data; it’s a direct line to what businesses are experiencing and anticipating. In a landscape where economic shifts are the norm, this report is a straightforward guide, offering insights into the challenges and outlooks of businesses across the country. It provides a clear snapshot of their sentiments, challenges, and strategies and serves as a vital resource for understanding sectoral variations, regional disparities, and emerging trends.

Key Findings

  • Business Sentiment at a Two-Year Low: The outlook for Canadian businesses reached a two-year low in Q4 2023, revealing a prevailing sense of pessimism across various industries
  • CEBA Impact: Roughly half of the surveyed businesses received a CEBA loan, with construction, accommodation and food services, and mining, oil, and gas showing the highest percentage of active borrowers. The survey highlights that 28% of CEBA borrowers have fully repaid their loan so farm and 76% of loans are likely to be repaid by end of 2026
  • Labour Dynamics: Challenges in the labour market are gradually easing for businesses. Expectations for wage growth in 2024 indicate a slowdown, offering potential relief to inflation concerns. A noteworthy aspect is the increasing attention to labour mobility, with a quarter of businesses considering hiring from other provinces or territories
  • Skills Gap: The majority (68%) of businesses identify some form of skill gap among their employees, signaling the need for ongoing investments in training and development. Strategies to address skill gaps predominantly involve internal mechanisms such as in-house training, performance monitoring and coaching
  • Regional Insights: Business optimism is highest in the Territories, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada, while it’s notably lower in Ontario and British Columbia. A notable correlation exists between housing (un)affordability and business optimism, with less affordable housing markets witnessing lower confidence

The full report is available on the Business Data Lab website here.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing over 400 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 business of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance.

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Rewa Mourad
Public Relations Specialist
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.238.4000 (2211)

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