Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

March 27, 2009 09:50 ET

Economic Decline Slowing: CME Business Conditions Survey

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 27, 2009) - It's not a signal the recession is over yet, but more Canadian manufacturers and exporters are optimistic about business conditions over the next three months than they have been since the beginning of 2009, according to the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters' March Business Conditions Survey.

"It's a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak outlook," said CME President, Jayson Myers in response to the survey results. "I believe the real economic impacts are still to be felt, but it is encouraging news that the economic decline appears to be slowing."

This month, 717 companies participated in the survey conducted during the first two weeks of March. Exactly 49 per cent of firms expect orders to decrease between March and June, down seven percentage points from February's figure of 56 per cent. And there's some good news for job seekers -- 13 per cent of companies expect to increase employment over the next three months, up from 11 per cent in February. The number of firms who are planning lay-offs also shrunk over the past month, decreasing from 45 to 42 per cent.

Despite the sliver of good news in terms of sales and employment, the credit crunch is still an issue for all manufacturers and exporter with 59 per cent of businesses reporting difficulties accessing adequate levels of financing, including working capital, extending lines of credit and accessing financing for new technologies and product development.

"Accessing credit continues to be a major hurdle for companies of all sizes to overcome during this major economic downturn," Myers added. "We need to put pieces of the credit puzzle together quickly or we will see more companies, even very innovative and productive companies, laying off more workers and going out business.

"If companies cannot access credit soon, the financial meltdown could translate into a Canadian industrial meltdown."

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Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME, through various initiatives including icosmo.ca and the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.

Contact Information

  • CME
    Jeff Brownlee
    VP of Public Affairs
    613-238-8888 ext. 4233