Export Development Canada’s Trade Confidence Index (TCI) captures the perspectives of more than 1,500 Canadian exporters and ready-to-export businesses. The TCI reveals timely and forward-looking information not readily available in traditional trade statistics. The biannual index highlights the concerns and expectations of Canadian companies for the future, and their evolving international strategies. EDC has conducted this survey since 1999.


Overall outlook: The TCI’s key findings

1. Canadian trade confidence has jumped 4.4 index points since our December 2023 survey, but remains below the historical average.

Trade confidence jumps to 70.1




2. Global recession worries, and supply chain issues remain elevated, impacting exporter sentiment.

Global recession (54%), supply chain issues (46%) and labour constraints (34%) among Top 3 risks ranked by respondents




3. Most survey respondents are experiencing trade barriers, including increased shipping costs and gloomy economic conditions.

Most survey respondents facing trade barrier issues (increased shipping costs, bleak economic conditions)




4. As the world will see more elections in 2024 than in any other time in recent history, the potential impact of the upcoming U.S. election is top of mind for our survey’s respondents.

24% worry U.S. election will have significant impact




5. As the transition to a net zero economy continues, most export-oriented Canadian companies are undertaking some form of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Majority of respondents taking initial steps to reduce GHG emissions.




6. While Canadian exporters are facing some critical challenges, their intent to diversify to new markets remains.

71% intend to diversify their export markets, an increase of 5 percentage points since December 2023




7. For companies planning to start exporting to new destinations, there’s continued interest in the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Smiling female architect walks through building


Top planned export destinations
% of respondents

Top planned export destinations: United States 44%  Mexico 20% Germany 15% France 14% Netherlands 11%




About EDC’s Trade Confidence Index

This TCI survey was conducted between March 1 and March 30, and released on May 16. Twice a year, EDC surveys Canadian exporters and businesses planning to export. The results are a pulse check of their level of confidence and expectations of international trade opportunities over the next six months. In this TCI release, 1,604 companies responded to our survey. The TCI data is weighted to represent the Canadian exporter and ready-to-export population.


Date modified: 2024-05-16