TORONTO - Small business confidence barely budged in November, according to the latest survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
The CFIB says its business barometer index last month stood at 63.7, virtually identical to October's 63.6 reading.
Chief economist Ted Mallett says confidence is still lower than normal due to fears that economic weakness in Europe may spread.
Retailers are almost a point above the average, suggesting a reasonably good holiday shopping season.
The outlook among manufacturing, construction and transport businesses, however, remain on the weaker side.
On a provincial basis, business owners in Saskatchewan are the most optimistic, with an index level of just above 74. The least optimism is in New Brunswick, where the index stood at 59.1.
Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their businesses' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.
The November findings are based on 1,126 responses, collected from a random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. The Findings are deemed accurate to plus or minus 2.9 per cent 19 times in 20.