Tree huggers

Tree huggers

Confidence is king
Survey shows businesses on the gentle island are an assured bunch

Businesses in Atlantic Canada’s smallest province are brimming with confidence these days.

That’s a key takeaway from TD Bank’s inaugural Atlantic Canada Business Confidence index survey, which found P.E.I. businesses are the most confident in the region. With an index score of 123.3, P.E.I. beat out second-place Nova Scotia by five points.

Margaret Brigley, president and COO of Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates, the firm that conducted the survey for TD, says there are a number of reasons why confidence is high among businesses in P.E.I. For one, it currently has the highest population growth of the four provinces in Atlantic Canada. Statistics Canada found in the second quarter of 2016, P.E.I.’s population grew by 1,215 compared to the same time last year. Brigley says data shows island residents are also satisfied with the provincial government’s performance of late. Another reason for the confidence is the diversity of its economy, making it less prone to be affected by a downturn that impacts a particular sector. “It’s not as commodity based,” Brigley says. “The economy is focused on other sectors.”

Brigley says the data gathered from over 600 survey responses shows business leaders in the region are optimistic about the future of their own organizations. But there are some sharply divided opinions on the state of their respective provincial economies, particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador where slumps in the mining and oil and gas industries and tough budget have eroded confidence among business leaders there.

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