BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

June 17, 2013 07:00 ET

BMO Provincial Business Report: More Than Half of Businesses in Quebec Have a Positive Business Outlook

- One third expect Canadian economy to improve in 2013

- Nearly a third plan on hiring a student this summer

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 17, 2013) - More than half (56 per cent) of businesses in Quebec have a positive business outlook, according to BMO Bank of Montreal.

The findings are part of a BMO poll of business owners, conducted by Pollara, to determine what local entrepreneurs see as the competitive advantage of doing business in their province and what their intentions are for hiring in 2013. The survey revealed that:

  • Quebec's bilingual nature is the largest advantage of doing business in the province;
  • Most Quebec businesses are not expecting their workforce to grow in 2013, with only 19 per cent of Quebec businesses expecting their numbers to increase.
  • 30 per cent of Quebec businesses plan to hire a paid summer student and 21 per cent are planning to hire a graduate as a permanent employee.

"As the survey highlights, many business owners foresee a somewhat challenging year ahead but a positive shift may happen during the year as the U.S. economy continues to rebound," said Francois Hudon, Senior Vice-President, Quebec Division and Co-Head, North American Specialized Sales, BMO Bank of Montreal. "The U.S. is a major export market for many Quebec-based companies, so steady improvements south of the border is good news for our commercial clients."

Outlook for Growth in Quebec

When looking at the Canadian economy as a whole, one third (32 per cent) of Quebec business owners expect the Canadian economy to improve in 2013, while 22 per cent expect the Quebec economy to improve.

According to BMO Economics, Quebec is set to grow 1.2 per cent in 2013 and 1.8 per cent next year. In the first quarter of 2013, employment was up 2.6 percent year-over-year.

"Construction and health care were especially strong, although the latter has lost some momentum in recent months and the former is expected to soften with broader housing market trends", said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

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 $555 billion as at April 30, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

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