Cautious neutrality of prospects for the Canadian economy continues to be the opinion of many Canadian business leaders heading into the summer months, according to a new survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.
According to the survey, almost one in three (31%) were optimistic in the second quarter of 2019, up from 22% in the first quarter, while another 24% were pessimistic.
But the opinion of the largest group (44%) is caution, very similar to last quarter when 47% held that view. What is interesting about the latest findings is that optimism and pessimism essentially flipped in the second quarter when compared with the year's opening three months, according to CPA Canada.
Optimistic outlook unchanged since last year
As optimism was at 32% in the second quarter of 2018, it is basically unchanged on a year-over-year basis. However, that is well down from the second quarter of 2017 when half of respondents expressed an optimistic outlook.
The top three challenges to the Canadian economy cited by participants in the most recent survey are: protectionist trade sentiment in the U.S. (19%); uncertainty surrounding the Canadian economy (16%) and the state of the U.S. economy (11%).
“A better outlook among Canadian business leaders is always welcome and encouraging,” says Joy Thomas, president and CEO, CPA Canada. “However, it remains clear that there is still uncertainty, especially in relation to our large neighbour to the south.”