BMO Financial Group

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BMO Financial Group

April 05, 2013 14:51 ET

BMO: Canadian Business Confidence Remains High

- Employment rate up from year-ago levels, despite drop in March

- More than half of business owners expect 2013 to be a better year for business

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 5, 2013) - Despite a drop in Canadian employment numbers in March, Canadian businesses remain confident about their business prospects for 2013, according to the latest BMO Small Business Confidence Report.

While the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 per cent, employment is still up 1.2 per cent from year-ago levels. "March saw big gains in more than half the industry groups, although manufacturing, hotels & restaurants and public administration saw losses," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "We experienced a positive shift in the number of Canadians becoming entrepreneurs. These individuals remain upbeat on the outlook and confident in their skillsets."

The BMO Small Business Confidence Report also found:

  • More than half (52 per cent) expect 2013 to be a better year for business and 45 per cent anticipate their business will grow;
  • More than one-quarter (28 per cent) of business owners plan to invest more in their business this year, up since the fall.

"The Canadian economy has weathered many storms through the recent economic downturn, and businesses across the country continue to perform well. However, it's important that businesses remain adaptable to change and look for ways to grow beyond our borders," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "The U.S. economy is showing strong signs for growth this year, providing positive implications for Canadian businesses looking south for opportunities."

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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