Business Outlook Survey

Four times a year, our regional offices interview business leaders from about 100 firms to gather a broad range of economic perspectives that help us fulfill our mandate as Canada’s central bank.

The results of these interviews are available in our quarterly Business Outlook Surveys (BOS). View the recent survey data and references for more information.


Firms are selected from across Canada in accordance with the composition of the country's gross domestic product. They give us their views on:

  • topics of interest to the Bank of Canada, such as demand and capacity pressures;
  • forward-looking views that these firms hold on economic activity.

The BOS results are presented quarterly to the Bank’s Governing Council as a timely input into the monetary policy decision-making process.


  • The opinions expressed are those of the respondents, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Bank of Canada.
  • The method of sample selection ensures a good cross-section of opinion. Nevertheless, the statistical reliability of the survey is limited, given the small sample size.

Industry Participation

A rotating, and regularly updated, roster of businesses participates in the survey. Learn why we need business participation and how we engage with businesses.


Subscribe to Latest Business Outlook Surveys
Latest Business Outlook Surveys

April 12, 2021

Business Outlook Survey—Spring 2021

Results from the spring Business Outlook Survey suggest that business sentiment continues to improve. Firms reported less uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening demand from weak levels. Still, the recovery remains uneven, with firms tied to high-contact services facing ongoing challenges.
January 11, 2021

Business Outlook Survey—Winter 2020–21

In the winter Business Outlook Survey, firms pointed to a continued recovery supported by strengthening domestic and foreign demand, particularly in goods-producing sectors. Still, firms expect the recovery to be uneven; in particular, businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic anticipate challenging times ahead.
October 19, 2020

Business Outlook Survey—Autumn 2020

With many containment measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic being lifted, results from the autumn Business Outlook Survey suggest that business sentiment has improved but remains weak across all regions. Businesses expect the pace of the recovery in their sales to slow.
July 6, 2020

Business Outlook Survey—Summer 2020

Results from the summer Business Outlook Survey suggest that business sentiment is strongly negative in all regions and sectors due to impacts from the COVID 19 pandemic and the drop in oil prices. Firms reported that weak demand is reducing both capacity pressures and expectations for price growth.

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