The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says its monthly business barometer index rose in October following a steady drift downward through the spring and summer.

Measured on a scale between zero and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business to be stronger over the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.

Businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador led the Atlantic region in optimism for the month with a 69.2 index.

Nova Scotia was next at 68.8 and New Brunswick 68.2, while Prince Edward Island had the lowest index among all provinces at 59.

The national average was 66.9.

The survey suggests that the improvement in optimism was strongest in Nova Scotia, B.C., Alberta and Ontario.