Conducted twice a year since 1999, our Trade Confidence Index (TCI) is a pulse check of Canadian exporters’ level of confidence and their expectations of international trade opportunities over the next six months.
It is a composite score based on responses to questions regarding five elements:
1. Export sales
2. International business opportunities
3. World economic conditions
4. Domestic sales
5. Domestic economic conditions
Fall 2016 survey highlights:
The overall Trade Confidence Index (TCI) score fell to its lowest level in four years, dropping to 72.3 in Fall 2016 from 75.1 in Spring 2016. Although less favourable outlooks were reported across all five TCI elements, this decrease can be attributed primarily to a greater number of exporters who expect conditions will stay the same over the next six months and the lower number of respondents who said conditions will improve. Among the five TCI elements, confidence in export sales remained the highest in Fall 2016.
Trade confidence decreased among exporters of all sizes, in all regions of the country and across all industry sectors surveyed in Fall 2016. Small exporters exhibited the largest decline in trade confidence during this survey period. As they represent the majority of survey respondents, their concerns had a dampening effect on the overall TCI score.
For the majority of companies surveyed, the U.S. remained the top destination for current exports and foreign investment. In ranking global issues that could affect their exporting or investment activities, most respondents put the outcome of the U.S. election at the top of their list.
More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) said the value of the Canadian dollar at the time of the survey had a positive impact on their export sales, and more than half (59%) said it was very important to competing in foreign markets.
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