Bank of Canada Business Outlook Survey: data

Autumn 2017

Note: Each quarter, the Business Outlook Survey results are based on interviews with senior management of about 100 firms. Since the responses to the questions are calculated as percentages, when the sample is not exactly 100 firms, or respondents do not answer all questions, the results are rounded. Therefore, in some cases, calculating a balance of opinion using the greater and lesser categories may differ slightly from the actual balance of opinion. Also, totals may not always add to 100%.

*In 1999Q2 and 2000Q2, the survey questions were asked to industry associations instead of businesses (74 associations in 1999Q2 and 66 associations in 2000Q2). See Martin and Papile (2004). In addition, the summer 2006 results for Chart 6 are not strictly comparable with those of other surveys, owing to a difference in the interview process for that survey.

The BOS indicator is re-estimated every quarter with the release of the Business Outlook Survey. As such, even though responses to BOS questions are never revised, the entire time series of the indicator is revised after every release.


These data in CSV format

Chart 1
PAST SALES GROWTH
Over the past 12 months, the rate of increase in your firm’s sales volume (compared with the previous 12 months) was…
DateGreater (%)Less (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 2017422913
Q2 2017432320
Q1 201741392
Q4 201637370
Q3 201642411
Q2 201643430
Q1 20163539-4
Q4 201540400
Q3 201539390
Q2 2015433112
Q1 2015502525
Q4 2014482721
Q3 2014443014
Q2 201436315
Q1 2014443014
Q4 20133437-3
Q3 20133344-11
Q2 201342339
Q1 20133148-17
Q4 20123335-2
Q3 201240346
Q2 2012532627
Q1 2012502822
Q4 2011542529
Q3 2011532330
Q2 2011522824
Q1 2011603229
Q4 2010562630
Q3 2010553322
Q2 2010493118
Q1 20102265-43
Q4 20091970-51
Q3 20092265-43
Q2 20091769-52
Q1 20093048-18
Q4 20083055-25
Q3 20083537-2
Q2 200839327
Q1 200842339
Q4 2007492722
Q3 2007442718
Q2 2007433112
Q1 2007442618
Q4 2006453015
Q3 200640319
Q2 2006462818
Q1 2006492227
Q4 2005512032
Q3 2005462224
Q2 2005513120
Q1 2005552629
Q4 2004472819
Q3 2004503417
Q2 200442339
Q1 200442402
Q4 200339390
Q3 2003483810
Q2 20033738-1
Q1 200345378
Q4 200238308
Q3 2002473710
Q2 2002463314
Q1 20023651-14
Q4 20013650-14
Q3 20013444-10
Q2 20013841-3
Q1 2001533023
Q4 2000532428
Q3 2000601743
Q2 200062*14*48*
Q1 2000511833
Q4 1999492623
Q3 1999572829
Q2 199944*38*7*
Q1 199941383
Q4 19983437-3
Q3 19983141-10

Chart 2
FUTURE SALES GROWTHINDICATORS OF FUTURE SALES
Over the next 12 months, the rate of increase in your firm’s sales volume (compared with the past 12 months) is expected to be…Compared with 12 months ago, have your recent indicators (order books, advanced bookings, sales inquiries, etc.)...
DateGreater (%)Less (%)Balance of OpinionImproved (%)Deteriorated (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 201742231963855
Q2 201750193167859
Q1 2017523121611546
Q4 2016482226542332
Q3 2016423012462521
Q2 20164338541374
Q1 2016483216463115
Q4 201547311645378
Q3 2015463016462917
Q2 201540328492227
Q1 201540364413110
Q4 201443358452520
Q3 2014552035591643
Q2 2014502624581939
Q1 2014512427511933
Q4 2013512229452025
Q3 2013522231502328
Q2 201342339452322
Q1 2013502624442618
Q4 2012442816462323
Q3 201235350462620
Q2 2012473215552134
Q1 201258233567760
Q4 20113741-4452124
Q3 201139336482325
Q2 2011492920591842
Q1 2011513813621548
Q4 2010512922542232
Q3 2010552629661948
Q2 2010532925671750
Q1 2010642044541935
Q4 2009702150502624
Q3 20096916533645-9
Q2 20096123392748-21
Q1 20093052-221567-52
Q4 20082357-341855-37
Q3 200837343423210
Q2 20083733437325
Q1 20083638-2372611
Q4 20073838033303
Q3 200735323471928
Q2 2007402812472225
Q1 2007412714452322
Q4 200634277492029
Q3 200634313541639
Q2 2006422616511933
Q1 200636333521538
Q4 2005412516581544
Q3 2005392514461531
Q2 2005452520562432
Q1 200544242055946
Q4 200442348531440
Q3 2004482622511933
Q2 2004462124551739
Q1 2004462818522131
Q4 2003542232571245
Q3 2003482622552234
Q2 2003432914
Q1 2003472720
Q4 2002452817
Q3 2002443311
Q2 2002491930
Q1 2002572729
Q4 20013639-3
Q3 20013137-6
Q2 200134305
Q1 20014142-1
Q4 200036342
Q3 200036297
Q2 200029*35*-6*
Q1 2000512131
Q4 1999581643
Q3 199941356
Q2 199943*30*14*
Q1 1999492425
Q4 19983233-1
Q3 19982744-18

Chart 3
INVESTMENT IN MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s investment spending on M&E (compared with the past 12 months) is expected to be…
DateHigher (%)Lower (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 2017412417
Q2 2017481929
Q1 2017461135
Q4 2016411724
Q3 2016422418
Q2 201638299
Q1 201639309
Q4 20152629-3
Q3 2015402614
Q2 201536297
Q1 201536324
Q4 201437298
Q3 2014381820
Q2 2014411724
Q1 2014462521
Q4 2013422319
Q3 201334277
Q2 201335269
Q1 2013392712
Q4 2012432320
Q3 201237298
Q2 2012431924
Q1 2012462224
Q4 2011401921
Q3 2011411922
Q2 2011481830
Q1 2011462224
Q4 2010441529
Q3 2010461036
Q2 2010382612
Q1 2010432122
Q4 2009422517
Q3 200933303
Q2 20092739-12
Q1 20092640-14
Q4 20081748-31
Q3 2008381820
Q2 2008401624
Q1 200828272
Q4 200733258
Q3 200732267
Q2 2007401921
Q1 2007481929
Q4 2006402020
Q3 2006352015
Q2 2006451827
Q1 2006511635
Q4 2005432419
Q3 2005391920
Q2 2005442321
Q1 2005392217
Q4 2004452322
Q3 2004402317
Q2 2004411822
Q1 200433267
Q4 2003312011
Q3 200329272
Q2 20032427-3
Q1 200330282
Q4 2002382414
Q3 2002411922
Q2 2002331914
Q1 20022431-7
Q4 20012237-15
Q3 20012935-6
Q2 20013235-3
Q1 2001352313
Q4 2000422913
Q3 2000502426
Q2 200030*22*8*
Q1 2000382711
Q4 1999502228
Q3 199929263
Q2 199934*16*18*
Q1 19993437-3
Q4 1998452916
Q3 19983335-2

Chart 4
FUTURE EMPLOYMENT LEVEL
Over the next 12 months, your firm’s level of employment is expected to be…
DateHigher (%)Lower (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 2017481434
Q2 201766858
Q1 2017521438
Q4 2016511537
Q3 2016471631
Q2 2016432221
Q1 2016431726
Q4 2015311912
Q3 2015411328
Q2 2015391326
Q1 2015402020
Q4 2014431231
Q3 2014541044
Q2 2014431528
Q1 201453846
Q4 2013531142
Q3 2013431330
Q2 201344935
Q1 2013451332
Q4 2012421428
Q3 2012441826
Q2 201259653
Q1 2012551243
Q4 201154945
Q3 2011521438
Q2 201157453
Q1 2011501337
Q4 201049841
Q3 2010391425
Q2 2010501040
Q1 2010501238
Q4 2009541441
Q3 2009421527
Q2 2009391722
Q1 20092526-1
Q4 20082028-8
Q3 2008401228
Q2 2008441133
Q1 2008451233
Q4 2007421230
Q3 200745837
Q2 2007461234
Q1 200751645
Q4 2006501040
Q3 2006521141
Q2 200644935
Q1 200651843
Q4 200558950
Q3 200559951
Q2 2005461432
Q1 2005501139
Q4 2004501238
Q3 2004441133
Q2 2004471532
Q1 2004451431
Q4 2003411427
Q3 2003431033
Q2 2003331518
Q1 2003471334
Q4 2002401822
Q3 2002471631
Q2 2002481138
Q1 2002441826
Q4 200128271
Q3 2001312011
Q2 2001341717
Q1 2001431330
Q4 2000441727
Q3 2000471235
Q2 200052*15*36*
Q1 2000461333
Q4 1999501338
Q3 1999381523
Q2 199949*14*35*
Q1 1999382018
Q4 1998352015
Q3 199828280

Chart 5
ABILITY TO MEET DEMAND
How would you rate the current ability of your firm to meet an unexpected increase in demand?
DateSome difficulty (% of firms)Significant difficulty (% of firms)
Q3 2017389
Q2 2017388
Q1 20172910
Q4 2016316
Q3 2016353
Q2 2016305
Q1 2016336
Q4 2015306
Q3 2015253
Q2 20153710
Q1 2015385
Q4 2014337
Q3 2014356
Q2 2014304
Q1 2014396
Q4 2013345
Q3 2013485
Q2 2013404
Q1 2013334
Q4 2012286
Q3 2012443
Q2 2012388
Q1 2012327
Q4 20113610
Q3 2011358
Q2 2011465
Q1 2011385
Q4 2010353
Q3 2010269
Q2 2010354
Q1 2010264
Q4 2009263
Q3 2009175
Q2 2009253
Q1 2009291
Q4 2008297
Q3 20083611
Q2 2008409
Q1 20082915
Q4 20074218
Q3 20074212
Q2 20074114
Q1 20073218
Q4 20063614
Q3 20063215
Q2 20063414
Q1 20063312
Q4 20053515
Q3 20053610
Q2 2005349
Q1 20052611
Q4 2004387
Q3 20043310
Q2 2004388
Q1 2004274
Q4 2003326
Q3 2003296
Q2 2003347
Q1 2003356
Q4 2002334
Q3 2002356
Q2 2002394
Q1 2002264
Q4 2001341
Q3 2001194
Q2 2001350
Q1 20013712
Q4 2000358
Q3 20004313
Q2 200052*6*
Q1 20004113
Q4 19993710
Q3 19993811

Chart 6
LABOUR SHORTAGESINTENSITY OF LABOUR SHORTAGES
Does your firm face any shortages of labour that restrict your ability to meet demand?Compared with 12 months ago, are labour shortages generally …
DateYes (% of firms)More intenseLess intenseBalance of Opinion
Q3 20172541338
Q2 20172540931
Q1 20171918171
Q4 2016282327-4
Q3 2016242130-9
Q2 2016191332-19
Q1 201620634-28
Q4 2015181135-24
Q3 2015171529-14
Q2 2015191733-16
Q1 2015211529-14
Q4 2014221820-2
Q3 201418311318
Q2 20142220191
Q1 20142322166
Q4 20132620146
Q3 20133122148
Q2 20132017170
Q1 2013221923-4
Q4 201225291118
Q3 201233311417
Q2 201229351718
Q1 201227311021
Q4 201129341420
Q3 201125261412
Q2 201125341420
Q1 201114251213
Q4 2010161824-6
Q3 2010202232-10
Q2 2010121735-18
Q1 2010121334-21
Q4 20097856-48
Q3 2009161160-49
Q2 200917261-59
Q1 200913559-54
Q4 200820752-44
Q3 20083626215
Q2 200840331716
Q1 200830301318
Q4 200741331221
Q3 20074136729
Q2 200733371126
Q1 200741481236
Q4 200635401030
Q3 20063756254
Q2 200627*53251
Q1 20064451249
Q4 20054947542
Q3 20055137433
Q2 20053628523
Q1 20053319217
Q4 20043621615
Q3 20044430426
Q2 20043720911
Q1 20043518117
Q4 2003301073
Q3 200334251213
Q2 2003311014-3
Q1 2003361423-9
Q4 20024019181
Q3 2002381719-2
Q2 20023920182
Q1 200231727-20
Q4 2001351434-20
Q3 20013515114
Q2 20014822022
Q1 20015129029
Q4 200059
Q3 200056
Q2 200065*
Q1 200043
Q4 199944
Q3 199936
Q2 199968*
Q1 199931
Q4 199840
Q3 199826

Chart 7
INPUT PRICE INFLATION
Over the next 12 months, are prices of products/services purchased expected to increase at a greater, lesser, or the same rate as over the past year?
DateIncrease at a greater rate (%)Increase at a lesser rate (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 201724240
Q2 2017362214
Q1 2017302010
Q4 2016371423
Q3 20162830-2
Q2 20162530-5
Q1 2016382810
Q4 20152340-17
Q3 201533267
Q2 20151642-26
Q1 20153334-1
Q4 20142932-3
Q3 201422139
Q2 20141725-8
Q1 2014471037
Q4 2013291019
Q3 201323158
Q2 201326242
Q1 201326206
Q4 201224213
Q3 201228235
Q2 201224213
Q1 201223167
Q4 201128235
Q3 201126233
Q2 2011501535
Q1 2011531539
Q4 2010421131
Q3 2010432320
Q2 2010481434
Q1 2010461729
Q4 2009422220
Q3 2009372710
Q2 20093045-15
Q1 20092457-34
Q4 20081765-48
Q3 20082338-15
Q2 2008511338
Q1 2008421626
Q4 20072632-6
Q3 20072326-3
Q2 200720200
Q1 20071930-11
Q4 20062435-11
Q3 20062531-6
Q2 200631247
Q1 20062629-3
Q4 2005341717
Q3 2005431528
Q2 200527270
Q1 200526251
Q4 20041740-23
Q3 20043233-1
Q2 2004432220
Q1 20042232-11
Q4 20031923-4
Q3 20031734-17
Q2 20032334-11
Q1 200331256
Q4 2002332013
Q3 2002301217
Q2 200225178
Q1 20022129-8
Q4 20011245-33
Q3 2001938-29
Q2 20012328-5
Q1 20012030-10
Q4 200026206
Q3 200028208
Q2 200039*14*26*
Q1 200026179
Q4 199924186
Q3 19992225-3
Q2 199936*13*23*
Q1 19991630-14
Q4 19981921-2
Q3 19982223-1

Chart 8
OUTPUT PRICE INFLATION
Over the next 12 months, are prices of products/services sold expected to increase at a greater, lesser, or the same rate as over the past year?
DateIncrease at a greater rate (%)Increase at a lesser rate (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 201729290
Q2 2017372314
Q1 20172326-3
Q4 2016391524
Q3 20162636-10
Q2 20162831-3
Q1 201633330
Q4 20152441-17
Q3 2015362610
Q2 20152639-13
Q1 201535305
Q4 20142833-5
Q3 201426188
Q2 201426206
Q1 2014372314
Q4 201329209
Q3 2013301812
Q2 201331238
Q1 20132330-7
Q4 20122225-3
Q3 2012342212
Q2 201226233
Q1 20123132-1
Q4 20113037-7
Q3 20112433-9
Q2 2011362313
Q1 2011463214
Q4 2010381523
Q3 2010451629
Q2 2010471928
Q1 2010451728
Q4 2009382810
Q3 200937343
Q2 20092939-10
Q1 20092559-35
Q4 20083053-23
Q3 20082933-5
Q2 2008422220
Q1 2008342411
Q4 200728262
Q3 20072528-4
Q2 20072332-9
Q1 20072932-3
Q4 20062931-2
Q3 20062331-8
Q2 200627207
Q1 200631265
Q4 200529263
Q3 2005342311
Q2 20052325-2
Q1 200531238
Q4 20042136-15
Q3 2004322210
Q2 20042933-4
Q1 20042933-4
Q4 20031635-19
Q3 200326233
Q2 20032633-7
Q1 20032526-1
Q4 20022830-2
Q3 2002321912
Q2 2002342014
Q1 20022433-9
Q4 20011541-27
Q3 20012530-5
Q2 20012340-17
Q1 20012429-5
Q4 200028217
Q3 200028226
Q2 200026*21*5*
Q1 2000291415
Q4 19992324-1
Q3 199929227
Q2 199927*18*9*
Q1 19992230-9
Q4 19982034-14
Q3 19981441-27

Chart 9
INFLATION EXPECTATIONS
Over the next two years, what do you expect the annual rate of inflation to be, based on the consumer price index?
DateBelow 1 per cent (% of firms)1 to 2 per cent (% of firms)2 to 3 per cent (% of firms)Above 3 per cent (% of firms)
Q3 2017455382
Q2 2017270241
Q1 2017364302
Q4 2016566235
Q3 2016476191
Q2 2016467254
Q1 2016760246
Q4 20151070182
Q3 2015763245
Q2 2015368261
Q1 2015660293
Q4 2014268242
Q3 2014059372
Q2 2014364302
Q1 2014363304
Q4 2013168291
Q3 2013170271
Q2 2013564280
Q1 2013061323
Q4 2012054422
Q3 2012252431
Q2 2012044532
Q1 2012028635
Q4 2011341514
Q3 2011041477
Q2 20111186218
Q1 20112215815
Q4 2010247443
Q3 2010753325
Q2 2010250453
Q1 2010054406
Q4 2009961207
Q3 20096493411
Q2 20091149354
Q1 20094137154
Q4 20083043223
Q3 20081184832
Q2 20080135036
Q1 20080285217
Q4 20070305612
Q3 20070166812
Q2 20071147014
Q1 20071286010
Q4 20061266011
Q3 20060156320
Q2 20060156122
Q1 20062156318
Q4 20050146119
Q3 20050106027
Q2 2005118687
Q1 2005033604
Q4 20040295612
Q3 2004033549
Q2 20040225517
Q1 2004045475
Q4 2003040543
Q3 2003143524
Q2 2003039555
Q1 20031155726
Q4 2002027639
Q3 2002132615
Q2 2002228604
Q1 2002262332
Q4 2001559312
Q3 2001134552
Q2 2001025618

Chart 10
CREDIT CONDITIONS
Over the past 3 months, how have the terms and conditions for obtaining financing changed (compared with the previous 3 months)?
DateTightened (%)Eased (%)Balance of Opinion
Q3 201718153
Q2 20171213-1
Q1 2017911-2
Q4 20161617-1
Q3 20161318-5
Q2 20161320-8
Q1 201624915
Q4 20152022-2
Q3 201520147
Q2 20151120-10
Q1 20151123-11
Q4 2014913-3
Q3 2014819-11
Q2 2014633-27
Q1 20141119-8
Q4 201316133
Q3 201314140
Q2 20131314-1
Q1 201317116
Q4 20121219-7
Q3 20121020-10
Q2 201224167
Q1 2012626-20
Q4 201128235
Q3 20111124-13
Q2 2011226-24
Q1 20111421-6
Q4 2010822-14
Q3 20101127-16
Q2 2010818-10
Q1 20101415-1
Q4 20091426-12
Q3 20092125-4
Q2 2009332112
Q1 200944836
Q4 200863658
Q3 2008441232
Q2 2008291514
Q1 2008411724
Q4 200732824
Q3 200732725
Q2 20071025-15
Q1 20071129-19
Q4 20061021-10
Q3 2006928-19
Q2 20061420-5
Q1 20061116-5
Q4 20051523-8
Q3 20051234-22
Q2 20051330-17
Q1 20051433-19
Q4 2004828-20
Q3 20041620-4
Q2 20041518-3
Q1 20041127-16
Q4 20031525-10
Q3 20032030-10
Q2 2003241311
Q1 2003291019
Q4 2002271215
Q3 2002231310
Q2 2002251411
Q1 200236432
Q4 2001401030

Chart 11
BUSINESS OUTLOOK SURVEY INDICATOR
DateBOS Indicator
Q3 20170.83
Q2 20172.77
Q1 20170.68
Q4 20161.03
Q3 2016-0.78
Q2 2016-1.61
Q1 2016-1.43
Q4 2015-2.88
Q3 2015-1.13
Q2 2015-1.23
Q1 2015-0.67
Q4 2014-0.50
Q3 20141.37
Q2 20140.13
Q1 20142.02
Q4 20130.70
Q3 20130.35
Q2 2013-0.07
Q1 2013-1.10
Q4 2012-0.25
Q3 20120.26
Q2 20121.68
Q1 20121.62
Q4 20111.07
Q3 20110.89
Q2 20113.32
Q1 20111.82
Q4 20101.96
Q3 20101.54
Q2 20101.14
Q1 2010-0.14
Q4 2009-1.16
Q3 2009-2.53
Q2 2009-4.44
Q1 2009-6.56
Q4 2008-7.36
Q3 2008-0.87
Q2 20081.67
Q1 20080.17
Q4 20070.59
Q3 20070.42
Q2 20071.33
Q1 20072.24
Q4 20061.28
Q3 20061.39
Q2 20062.02
Q1 20062.40
Q4 20052.92
Q3 20053.10
Q2 20051.11
Q1 20051.35
Q4 20040.49
Q3 20041.18
Q2 20040.98
Q1 2004-0.76
Q4 2003-0.82
Q3 2003-0.46
Q2 2003-1.92
Q1 2003-0.74
Q4 2002-0.63
Q3 20020.53
Q2 20020.74
Q1 2002-2.95
Q4 2001-5.00
Q3 2001-3.63
Q2 2001-2.51
Q1 20010.52