• Home>
  • About us>
  • SME Confidence Index

SME Confidence Index

September 2013

The new confidence index stands at 60.9 out of 100 for the second measurement of 2013 (vs. 62.7 in March 2013, 62.2 in November 2012, 63.4 in September 2012, 65.8 out of 100 in May 2012 and 66.4 out of 100 in February 2012).

 

STRATEGIC CONCLUSIONS - SEPTEMBER 2013

1. Slow economic conditions

The index has decreased 1.8 points since March 2013 and stands at 60.9 out of 100. Compared to September 2012, it has lost 2.5 points.

Compared to last spring, the level of optimism of SME managers is down with respect to the future of Québec SMEs in general (average score of 61.2 vs. 62.0 in March 2013) and with respect to their own companies (average score of 68.9 vs. 70.0 in March 2013). 

2. Stable sales forecasts

Most SME managers are expecting that their sales will increase in the next 12 months. The score for this indicator is 61.2 (vs. 60.9 in March 2013).

3. Heading to lower hirings?

Taking into account all hirings and layoffs expected in the next 12 months, SME managers expect a net increase in the number of their employees in Québec (56% vs. 58% in March 2013), but one quarter of them (25% vs. 21% in March 2013) expect instead a net decrease in their workforce in Québec. The average score for this indicator is 54.8, down 3.0 points from March 2013 and 6.6 points from September 2012. This is the lowest score recorded to date.

Operating costs (59%) and labour recruitment (45%) continue to be a major concern.

4. Less favourable financing conditions than three months ago

The majority of SME managers consider that financing conditions will be rather favourable for their companies in the next 12 months. However, over one quarter (28%) of them are pessimistic about these conditions. The average score is 60.5 for this indicator, down compared to March 2013 (-1.8 points) but comparable to September 2012 (-0.4 point).

5. Decrease in investments

SME managers consider investing in modernizing the equipment of their companies during the next 12 months. However, this indicator is down compared to March 2013 (-2.2 points) and September 2012 (-3.8 points). The average score is 59.3. This is the lowest score recorded to date.

6. Price increase in the manufacturing sector and distribution

Overall, 74% of SMEs operating in the manufacturing sector or distribution stated that the oil price increase that occurred in 2013 had an impact on the price of their products. Consequently, the price of their products went up 8.5% on average. 

OPTIMISM ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SMES IN QUÉBEC

SME managers are slignhty less optimistic than in spring 2013 about the future of SMEs in Québec for the next 12 months: the average score is 61.2 (vs 62.0 in March 2013).

 

OPTIMISM ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THEIR OWN COMPANY
Compared to other SMEs, SME managers are slightly less optimistic about the future of their own companies for the next 12 months. This indicator is slightly down: the average score is 68.9 (vs 70.0 in March 2013).

 

 

PROBABILITY OF INVESTMENT

The majority of SME managers still consider investing in modernizing the equipment of their companies in the next 12 months. The average score for this indicator is slighty down (59.3 vs. 61.5 in March 2013).

HIRINGS AND LAYOFFS
Even though the majority of SME managers expect a net increase in the number of their employees in Québec (56% vs 58% in March 2013), one quarter of them (25% vs 21% in March 2013) expect instead a net decrease in their workforce in the next 12 months. The average score is 54.8 for this indicator (vs 57.8 in March 2013), the lowest recorded to date.

ACCESS TO FINANCING
SME managers believe that financing conditions will be rather favourable for a company like theirs in the next 12 months. However, 28% of them are of the opposite view. The average score for this indicator is 60.5 (vs 62.3 in March 2013).

March 2013

The new confidence index stands at 62.7 out of 100 for the first measurement of 2013 (vs 62.2 in November 2012, 63.4 in September 2012, 65.8 out of 100 in May 2012 and 66.4 out of 100 in February 2012).

STRATEGIC CONCLUSIONS - MARCH 2013

1- Relatively stable economic conditions

The index is similar to the November 2012 index (+0.5) and stands at 62.7 out of 100. However, it has decreased by 3.7 points since February 2012.

The level of optimism of SME managers is slightly up. Compared to November 2012, it increased by 3.1 points with respect to the future of Québec SMEs in general (average score of 62.0) and 1.7 points with respect to their own companies (average score of 70.0).

2- Positive sales forecasts, but still weak

Most SME managers are expecting that their sales will increase in the next 12 months, but in a much lower proportion than in prior years. The average score is 60.9 for this indicator, similar to November 2012 (60.8), but down compared to February 2012 (64.6).

3- Slight increase in the number of employees

Taking into account all hirings and layoffs expected in the next 12 months, SME managers expect a net increase in the number of their employees in Québec, but one fifth of them expect instead a net decrease in their workforce in Québec. The average score for this indicator is 57.8, down 1.9 points from November 2012 and 6.4 points from February 2012. This is the lowest score recorded to date. Operating costs (55%) and labour recruitment (48%) continue to be a major concern.

4- Rather favourable financing conditions

The majority of SME managers consider that financing conditions will be rather favourable for their companies in the next 12 months. However, one quarter of them are pessimistic about these conditions. The average score is 62.3 for this indicator, which is slightly up compared to November 2012 (+1.6 points) but down compared to February 2012 (-3.1 points).

5- Decrease in investments

SME managers consider investing in modernizing the equipment of their companies during the next 12 months. However, this indicator is down compared to November 2012 (-2.2 points) and September 2011 (-4.2 points). The average score is 61.5. This is the lowest score recorded to date.

OPTIMISM ABOUT THE FUTURE OF SMES IN QUÉBEC

SME managers are more optimistic than in fall 2012 about the future of SMEs in Québec for the next 12 months: the average score increased slightly to 62.0 (vs 58.9 in November 2012).

 

OPTIMISM ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THEIR OWN COMPANY

Compared to other SMEs, SME managers are slightly more optimistic about the future of their own companies for the next 12 months. This indicator is slightly up: the average score is 70.0 (vs 68.3 in November 2012).

PROBABILITY OF INVESTMENT

The majority of SME managers still consider investing in modernizing the equipment of their companies in the next 12 months. The average score is 61.5 for this indicator (vs 63.7 in November 2012. It is nevertheless the lowest score recorded to date.

HIRINGS AND LAYOFFS

While the majority of SME managers expect a net increase in the number of their employees in Québec (58% vs 63% in November 2012), one fifth of them (21% vs 19% in November 2012) expect instead a net decrease in their workforce in the next 12 months. The average score is 57.8 for this indicator (vs 59.7 in November 2012), the lowest recorded to date.

ACCESS TO FINANCING

SME managers believe that financing conditions will be rather favourable for a company like theirs in the next 12 months. However, 24% of them are of the opposite view. The average score for this indicator increased slightly to 62.3 (vs 60.7 in September 2012).

Methodology

Respondent profile