Canadian businesses re­main gloomy about their prospects over the next year, although they’re not quite as negative as three months ago, the Bank of Canada said yesterday.

The central bank’s quarterly survey of 100 firms found business sentiment “negative” across a range of issues, such as sales volumes, product pricing, investment intentions and credit conditions.

And a separate survey of lenders by the Bank of Canada found the cost of obtaining credit and conditions remained a problem.

The only good news was that business sentiment wasn’t as bleak as three months ago, when the winter survey recorded the lowest level since the survey began in 1997.

“The balance of opinion for both past and future sales remain markedly negative, although no longer at record levels,” the bank said in its report.

“As in the winter survey, many firms expect a decline in their sales volumes over the next 12 months.”

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