Canadian exporters are more optimistic about the near-term outlook, despite elevated global trade policy uncertainty, according to Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Mid-Year Trade Confidence Index (TCI). The bi-annual survey of 1,000 Canadian exporters finds overall trade confidence increased (up three index points, from 73.5 to 76.5), with gains for all firm sizes, sectors, and regions of the country. Better expectations for international and domestic sales drove the improved outlook.
- More Canadian companies indicate their export sales will increase over the next six months (73%, a major jump from 56% in the previous survey).
- More businesses say sales to the U.S. increased over the past six months (46%, up from 36%).
- Half of the respondents expect to increase hiring (but they face growing challenges in accessing skilled labour).
“Canadian exporters are pumped about higher global growth and are busy filling orders,” said Peter Hall, Chief Economist, EDC. “This is consistent with the growth we’re seeing in Canadian exports this year. The business is there, and exporters are not letting politics trump production – at least, for now.”
Canadian exporters are diversifying international operations
- There was a significant increase in the proportion of Canadian exporters who started exporting to new countries (44% up from 31%) and those who plan to do so (64% up from 49%).
- There was also a significant increase in the proportion of Canadian exporters who have investments outside of Canada (17% up from 11%), or those who plan to do so (22% up from 12%).
After a recently-signed trade deal (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP), Canadian exporters are paying more attention to the Asia Pacific.
Full article: Exporter confidence bucks trade turmoil: EDC survey