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Manufacturers more positive about outlook in March: CME

In what may be a positive sign, more Canadian manufacturers and exporters are optimistic about business conditions ...


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March 30, 2009 by Canadian Plastics

In what may be a positive sign, more Canadian manufacturers and exporters are optimistic about business conditions over the next three months than they have been since the beginning of 2009, according to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters’ March Business Conditions Survey.

Exactly 49 per cent of the 717 firms surveyed expect orders to decrease between March and June, down seven percentage points from February’s outlook. Additionally, 13 per cent of firms expect to increase employment over the next quarter, up from 11 per cent in February. The number of companies planning layoffs also shrunk, from 45 to 42 per cent.

“It’s a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak outlook,” said CME president Jayson Myers. “I believe the real economic impacts are still to be felt, but it is encouraging news that the economic decline appears to be slowing.”

Despite the slightly better outlook, 59 per cent of manufacturers still report difficulties adequare levels of financing, including working capital, extending lines of credit and accessing financing for new technologies and product development.

“Accessing credit continues to be a major hurdle for companies of all sizes to overcome during the major economic downturn,” said Myers, noting that the “credit puzzle” must be put together to prevent more layoffs and company shut downs.

“If company cannot access credit soon, the financial meltdown could translate into a Canadian industrial meltdown,” he continued.

The full results from the monthly survey can be viewed here.