Business confidence has reached a new low, says the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The business group’s annual Ontario Economic Report (OER) says only 16% of organizations expressed confidence in the outlook of Ontario’s economy in 2023, down from 29% in 2022, with inflation and labour shortages the major concerns.
Despite that, 53% of businesses are optimistic about their own outlook and growth, citing high employment rates and population growth as factors that will prevent a sharp decline in consumer spending.
The report says small businesses want government policies and programs that support financial and operational challenges, while large businesses are more focused on workforce development and health-care issues.
Labour shortages are impacting 87% of large businesses, especially those in the fields of education, construction, accommodation and food services.
The report relied on information gathered from an online business confidence survey — conducted Oct. 18-Nov. 30, 2022 — which attracted responses from more than 1,900 organizations across Ontario.
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