Bank of Canada third-quarter survey says business sentiment improving slightly

Canadian firms expect a moderate increase in sales growth over the coming year but regional differences are more pronounced and foreign demand continues to be weighed down by trade tensions, a Bank of Canada survey said on Tuesday.

Results of the central bank’s quarterly business outlook survey points to “positive views” in sentiment in central Canada and “widespread weakness” in the Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba following a slight improvement in sentiment in the previous June survey, it said.

Businesses’ expectations about U.S. economic growth have also weakened somewhat, the survey found, with some now expecting a “small U.S. recession over the next 12 months.” Several firms said they anticipated their sales would be negatively affected – either indirectly or directly – by a slower U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, investment and hiring plans “are healthy,” mainly outside Canada’s…

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