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Upbeat, but concerned

Canadian businesses are gaining confidence the economic recovery is real, but they remain concerned that they’re not seeing the results in their individual operations.

Canadian businesses are gaining confidence the economic recovery is real, but they remain concerned that they’re not seeing the results in their individual operations.

A new survey by the Conference Board of Canada shows business confidence, rather than rising with the country’s economic fortunes, has stalled over the past six months.

The latest survey shows the confidence index dropping slightly to 95.6 from 96 as businesses fret that they continue operating well below capacity due to weak demand.

Canada’s economy grew by a surprisingly strong five per cent in the last three months of 2009, and is believed to have recorded the biggest quarterly gain in a decade during the first three months of this year — in the neighbourhood of six per cent annualized.

But the survey, conducted between March 8 and April 6, found just 21.5 per cent of respondents said their firm was operating near capacity, while 37.1 per cent said their firm was “substantially below” capacity.

“Confidence will not resume its climb until more firms start operating close to capacity.”

 
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