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Businesses more upbeat as trade tensions ease, Bank of Canada finds

Businesses more upbeat as trade tensions ease, Bank of Canada finds

Canadian businesses reported a slight increase in sentiment amid reduced concern about global trade conflict, according to a Bank of Canada survey.

The Ottawa-based central bank’s fourth-quarter survey of executives found indicators of future sales like new orders have picked up, particularly outside of the energy sector. Employment intentions have also increased, along with signs of businesses running up against capacity.

The composite gauge of sentiment rose to 0.74, which is the highest reading since the end of 2018 and the third-straight quarterly improvement.

Results “suggest that business sentiment is broadly positive except in the Prairies, where indicators remain weak,” the Bank of Canada said in a summary of its findings. “In aggregate, firms’ outlook is supported by expectations of healthy domestic and foreign sales.”