Canadian Business Remains Optimistic Despite Global Economic Uncertainty

Feb 19, 2013, 07:00 ET from UPS Canada Ltd.

Canada remains steadfast in its optimism despite less than rosy fiscal forecast

  • Three in five businesses expect to see an increase in revenue in 2013
  • 57 per cent expect at least moderate growth in Canada's economy
  • Economic confidence has increased 20 per cent (to 63 per cent) since Q1 2012
  • Booming Western provinces are more positive about Canada's economy than others, with the majority (58 per cent vs. 46 per cent) expressing a favourable opinion of Canada's economic prospects

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - As policy makers south of the 49th parallel toiled to manage spending at the close of 2012, Canadian business leaders seem to have adopted a surprisingly bullish stance regarding their economic prospects for 2013.

According to a quarterly survey of Canadian businesses commissioned by UPS Canada and conducted by Leger Marketing, three in five business leaders believe that they will see more revenue in 2013 than they did in 2012. The majority of business leaders (57 per cent) expect at least moderate growth in Canada's economy in the coming year.

"Canadian businesses have certainly been keeping a close eye on the pulse of the economy south of the border and globally.  Yet, despite significant uncertainty, it is reassuring to see such a groundswell of optimism in Canadian business circles as we move into 2013," said UPS Canada vice- president, Nicolas Dorget.

According to the survey, economic confidence increased substantially since Q1 2012 when only 45 per cent of businesses felt they would see growth over the next quarter compared to 63 per cent at the end of 2012. Confidence has also increased since Q3 when 54 per cent of businesses predicted growth.

Projections and Goals

This optimism has also fuelled strong projections as businesses put plans into place for 2013. More than one third of businesses expect to increase growth by five to 10 per cent this year, while over 20 per cent of businesses have ambitions to increase growth by more than 10 per cent. Other notable goals for business leaders include:

  • Enhancing social media capabilities
  • Increasing the amount spent on marketing
  • Launching a new social media campaign
  • Building e-commerce capabilities

Facing the various global economic challenges and fiscal cliff of 2012, Canadian businesses' view on export has been influenced.  Still, the Federal government encourages businesses to diversify into international trade.  The most recent survey suggests that:

  • Six per cent of businesses plan on increasing exports to the U.S.
  • Four per cent of businesses plan on increasing exports to Asia
  • Five per cent of businesses plan on increasing exports to other regions

"While it's encouraging to see optimism mounting among Canadian business leaders, it's also important to note that now - perhaps more than ever - trade diversification should be looked at as a key tactic for any business looking to expand," said Dorget. "By capitalizing on new and emerging markets, business owners can significantly increase their long term growth prospects."

Expected Challenges

While confidence is strong, businesses do anticipate some challenges for 2013. Twenty per cent of business leaders feel increased competition will be their greatest challenge, while one in ten anticipate having difficulty finding qualified employees.  Increased competition within local markets could fuel the need to expand outside Canada to new markets; a positive differentiation for any business.

Conversely, one in six business leaders do not anticipate encountering any major challenges in 2013. In fact, 20 per cent of small-to-medium sized businesses believe they are poised to avoid any major challenges in the coming year. Large businesses, on the other hand, are less optimistic with only 10 per cent expecting to avoid major hurdles.

About the survey
From November 13 - 18, 2012, Leger Marketing conducted an online survey among a sample of 250 Canadian business decision makers (CEO, executive level, senior managers). The margin of error for a sample of this size is accurate within 6.20 per cent, 19 times out of 20. For the purposes of this study, small to medium businesses employ 1 to 99 individuals and companies who employ 100 or more are considered to be large businesses.

About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, visit

SOURCE UPS Canada Ltd.