Bank of Canada Business Outlook Survey: data

Winter 2017-18

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
2017Q4492920
2017Q3422913
2017Q2432320
2017Q141392
2016Q437370
2016Q342411
2016Q243430
2016Q13539-4
2015Q440400
2015Q339390
2015Q2433112
2015Q1502525
2014Q4482721
2014Q3443014
2014Q236315
2014Q1443014
2013Q43437-3
2013Q33344-11
2013Q242339
2013Q13148-17
2012Q43335-2
2012Q340346
2012Q2532627
2012Q1502822
2011Q4542529
2011Q3532330
2011Q2522824
2011Q1603229
2010Q4562630
2010Q3553322
2010Q2493118
2010Q12265-43
2009Q41970-51
2009Q32265-43
2009Q21769-52
2009Q13048-18
2008Q43055-25
2008Q33537-2
2008Q239327
2008Q142339
2007Q4492722
2007Q3442718
2007Q2433112
2007Q1442618
2006Q4453015
2006Q340319
2006Q2462818
2006Q1492227
2005Q4512032
2005Q3462224
2005Q2513120
2005Q1552629
2004Q4472819
2004Q3503417
2004Q242339
2004Q142402
2003Q439390
2003Q3483810
2003Q23738-1
2003Q145378
2002Q438308
2002Q3473710
2002Q2463314
2002Q13651-14
2001Q43650-14
2001Q33444-10
2001Q23841-3
2001Q1533023
2000Q4532428
2000Q3601743
2000Q262*14*48*
2000Q1511833
1999Q4492623
1999Q3572829
1999Q244*38*7*
1999Q141383
1998Q43437-3
1998Q33141-10

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
2017Q439318511834
2017Q342231963855
2017Q250193167859
2017Q1523121611546
2016Q4482226542332
2016Q3423012462521
2016Q24338541374
2016Q1483216463115
2015Q447311645378
2015Q3463016462917
2015Q240328492227
2015Q140364413110
2014Q443358452520
2014Q3552035591643
2014Q2502624581939
2014Q1512427511933
2013Q4512229452025
2013Q3522231502328
2013Q242339452322
2013Q1502624442618
2012Q4442816462323
2012Q335350462620
2012Q2473215552134
2012Q158233567760
2011Q43741-4452124
2011Q339336482325
2011Q2492920591842
2011Q1513813621548
2010Q4512922542232
2010Q3552629661948
2010Q2532925671750
2010Q1642044541935
2009Q4702150502624
2009Q36916533645-9
2009Q26123392748-21
2009Q13052-221567-52
2008Q42357-341855-37
2008Q337343423210
2008Q23733437325
2008Q13638-2372611
2007Q43838033303
2007Q335323471928
2007Q2402812472225
2007Q1412714452322
2006Q434277492029
2006Q334313541639
2006Q2422616511933
2006Q136333521538
2005Q4412516581544
2005Q3392514461531
2005Q2452520562432
2005Q144242055946
2004Q442348531440
2004Q3482622511933
2004Q2462124551739
2004Q1462818522131
2003Q4542232571245
2003Q3482622552234
2003Q2432914
2003Q1472720
2002Q4452817
2002Q3443311
2002Q2491930
2002Q1572729
2001Q43639-3
2001Q33137-6
2001Q234305
2001Q14142-1
2000Q436342
2000Q336297
2000Q229*35*-6*
2000Q1512131
1999Q4581643
1999Q341356
1999Q243*30*14*
1999Q1492425
1998Q43233-1
1998Q32744-18

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
2017Q4481929
2017Q3412417
2017Q2481929
2017Q1461135
2016Q4411724
2016Q3422418
2016Q238299
2016Q139309
2015Q42629-3
2015Q3402614
2015Q236297
2015Q136324
2014Q437298
2014Q3381820
2014Q2411724
2014Q1462521
2013Q4422319
2013Q334277
2013Q235269
2013Q1392712
2012Q4432320
2012Q337298
2012Q2431924
2012Q1462224
2011Q4401921
2011Q3411922
2011Q2481830
2011Q1462224
2010Q4441529
2010Q3461036
2010Q2382612
2010Q1432122
2009Q4422517
2009Q333303
2009Q22739-12
2009Q12640-14
2008Q41748-31
2008Q3381820
2008Q2401624
2008Q128272
2007Q433258
2007Q332267
2007Q2401921
2007Q1481929
2006Q4402020
2006Q3352015
2006Q2451827
2006Q1511635
2005Q4432419
2005Q3391920
2005Q2442321
2005Q1392217
2004Q4452322
2004Q3402317
2004Q2411822
2004Q133267
2003Q4312011
2003Q329272
2003Q22427-3
2003Q130282
2002Q4382414
2002Q3411922
2002Q2331914
2002Q12431-7
2001Q42237-15
2001Q32935-6
2001Q23235-3
2001Q1352313
2000Q4422913
2000Q3502426
2000Q230*22*8*
2000Q1382711
1999Q4502228
1999Q329263
1999Q234*16*18*
1999Q13437-3
1998Q4452916
1998Q33335-2

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
2017Q4501140
2017Q3481434
2017Q266858
2017Q1521438
2016Q4511537
2016Q3471631
2016Q2432221
2016Q1431726
2015Q4311912
2015Q3411328
2015Q2391326
2015Q1402020
2014Q4431231
2014Q3541044
2014Q2431528
2014Q153846
2013Q4531142
2013Q3431330
2013Q244935
2013Q1451332
2012Q4421428
2012Q3441826
2012Q259653
2012Q1551243
2011Q454945
2011Q3521438
2011Q257453
2011Q1501337
2010Q449841
2010Q3391425
2010Q2501040
2010Q1501238
2009Q4541441
2009Q3421527
2009Q2391722
2009Q12526-1
2008Q42028-8
2008Q3401228
2008Q2441133
2008Q1451233
2007Q4421230
2007Q345837
2007Q2461234
2007Q151645
2006Q4501040
2006Q3521141
2006Q244935
2006Q151843
2005Q458950
2005Q359951
2005Q2461432
2005Q1501139
2004Q4501238
2004Q3441133
2004Q2471532
2004Q1451431
2003Q4411427
2003Q3431033
2003Q2331518
2003Q1471334
2002Q4401822
2002Q3471631
2002Q2481138
2002Q1441826
2001Q428271
2001Q3312011
2001Q2341717
2001Q1431330
2000Q4441727
2000Q3471235
2000Q252*15*36*
2000Q1461333
1999Q4501338
1999Q3381523
1999Q249*14*35*
1999Q1382018
1998Q4352015
1998Q328280

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)
2017Q44412
2017Q3389
2017Q2388
2017Q12910
2016Q4316
2016Q3353
2016Q2305
2016Q1336
2015Q4306
2015Q3253
2015Q23710
2015Q1385
2014Q4337
2014Q3356
2014Q2304
2014Q1396
2013Q4345
2013Q3485
2013Q2404
2013Q1334
2012Q4286
2012Q3443
2012Q2388
2012Q1327
2011Q43610
2011Q3358
2011Q2465
2011Q1385
2010Q4353
2010Q3269
2010Q2354
2010Q1264
2009Q4263
2009Q3175
2009Q2253
2009Q1291
2008Q4297
2008Q33611
2008Q2409
2008Q12915
2007Q44218
2007Q34212
2007Q24114
2007Q13218
2006Q43614
2006Q33215
2006Q23414
2006Q13312
2005Q43515
2005Q33610
2005Q2349
2005Q12611
2004Q4387
2004Q33310
2004Q2388
2004Q1274
2003Q4326
2003Q3296
2003Q2347
2003Q1356
2002Q4334
2002Q3356
2002Q2394
2002Q1264
2001Q4341
2001Q3194
2001Q2350
2001Q13712
2000Q4358
2000Q34313
2000Q252*6*
2000Q14113
1999Q43710
1999Q33811

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
2017Q430461135
2017Q32541338
2017Q22540931
2017Q11918171
2016Q4282327-4
2016Q3242130-9
2016Q2191332-19
2016Q120634-28
2015Q4181135-24
2015Q3171529-14
2015Q2191733-16
2015Q1211529-14
2014Q4221820-2
2014Q318311318
2014Q22220191
2014Q12322166
2013Q42620146
2013Q33122148
2013Q22017170
2013Q1221923-4
2012Q425291118
2012Q333311417
2012Q229351718
2012Q127311021
2011Q429341420
2011Q325261412
2011Q225341420
2011Q114251213
2010Q4161824-6
2010Q3202232-10
2010Q2121735-18
2010Q1121334-21
2009Q47856-48
2009Q3161160-49
2009Q217261-59
2009Q113559-54
2008Q420752-44
2008Q33626215
2008Q240331716
2008Q130301318
2007Q441331221
2007Q34136729
2007Q233371126
2007Q141481236
2006Q435401030
2006Q33756254
2006Q227*53251
2006Q14451249
2005Q44947542
2005Q35137433
2005Q23628523
2005Q13319217
2004Q43621615
2004Q34430426
2004Q23720911
2004Q13518117
2003Q4301073
2003Q334251213
2003Q2311014-3
2003Q1361423-9
2002Q44019181
2002Q3381719-2
2002Q23920182
2002Q131727-20
2001Q4351434-20
2001Q33515114
2001Q24822022
2001Q15129029
2000Q459
2000Q356
2000Q265*
2000Q143
1999Q444
1999Q336
1999Q268*
1999Q131
1998Q440
1998Q326

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
2017Q4371126
2017Q324240
2017Q2362214
2017Q1302010
2016Q4371423
2016Q32830-2
2016Q22530-5
2016Q1382810
2015Q42340-17
2015Q333267
2015Q21642-26
2015Q13334-1
2014Q42932-3
2014Q322139
2014Q21725-8
2014Q1471037
2013Q4291019
2013Q323158
2013Q226242
2013Q126206
2012Q424213
2012Q328235
2012Q224213
2012Q123167
2011Q428235
2011Q326233
2011Q2501535
2011Q1531539
2010Q4421131
2010Q3432320
2010Q2481434
2010Q1461729
2009Q4422220
2009Q3372710
2009Q23045-15
2009Q12457-34
2008Q41765-48
2008Q32338-15
2008Q2511338
2008Q1421626
2007Q42632-6
2007Q32326-3
2007Q220200
2007Q11930-11
2006Q42435-11
2006Q32531-6
2006Q231247
2006Q12629-3
2005Q4341717
2005Q3431528
2005Q227270
2005Q126251
2004Q41740-23
2004Q33233-1
2004Q2432220
2004Q12232-11
2003Q41923-4
2003Q31734-17
2003Q22334-11
2003Q131256
2002Q4332013
2002Q3301217
2002Q225178
2002Q12129-8
2001Q41245-33
2001Q3938-29
2001Q22328-5
2001Q12030-10
2000Q426206
2000Q328208
2000Q239*14*26*
2000Q126179
1999Q424186
1999Q32225-3
1999Q236*13*23*
1999Q11630-14
1998Q41921-2
1998Q32223-1

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
2017Q424222
2017Q329290
2017Q2372314
2017Q12326-3
2016Q4391524
2016Q32636-10
2016Q22831-3
2016Q133330
2015Q42441-17
2015Q3362610
2015Q22639-13
2015Q135305
2014Q42833-5
2014Q326188
2014Q226206
2014Q1372314
2013Q429209
2013Q3301812
2013Q231238
2013Q12330-7
2012Q42225-3
2012Q3342212
2012Q226233
2012Q13132-1
2011Q43037-7
2011Q32433-9
2011Q2362313
2011Q1463214
2010Q4381523
2010Q3451629
2010Q2471928
2010Q1451728
2009Q4382810
2009Q337343
2009Q22939-10
2009Q12559-35
2008Q43053-23
2008Q32933-5
2008Q2422220
2008Q1342411
2007Q428262
2007Q32528-4
2007Q22332-9
2007Q12932-3
2006Q42931-2
2006Q32331-8
2006Q227207
2006Q131265
2005Q429263
2005Q3342311
2005Q22325-2
2005Q131238
2004Q42136-15
2004Q3322210
2004Q22933-4
2004Q12933-4
2003Q41635-19
2003Q326233
2003Q22633-7
2003Q12526-1
2002Q42830-2
2002Q3321912
2002Q2342014
2002Q12433-9
2001Q41541-27
2001Q32530-5
2001Q22340-17
2001Q12429-5
2000Q428217
2000Q328226
2000Q226*21*5*
2000Q1291415
1999Q42324-1
1999Q329227
1999Q227*18*9*
1999Q12230-9
1998Q42034-14
1998Q31441-27

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)
2017Q4056380
2017Q3455382
2017Q2270241
2017Q1364302
2016Q4566235
2016Q3476191
2016Q2467254
2016Q1760246
2015Q41070182
2015Q3763245
2015Q2368261
2015Q1660293
2014Q4268242
2014Q3059372
2014Q2364302
2014Q1363304
2013Q4168291
2013Q3170271
2013Q2564280
2013Q1061323
2012Q4054422
2012Q3252431
2012Q2044532
2012Q1028635
2011Q4341514
2011Q3041477
2011Q21186218
2011Q12215815
2010Q4247443
2010Q3753325
2010Q2250453
2010Q1054406
2009Q4961207
2009Q36493411
2009Q21149354
2009Q14137154
2008Q43043223
2008Q31184832
2008Q20135036
2008Q10285217
2007Q40305612
2007Q30166812
2007Q21147014
2007Q11286010
2006Q41266011
2006Q30156320
2006Q20156122
2006Q12156318
2005Q40146119
2005Q30106027
2005Q2118687
2005Q1033604
2004Q40295612
2004Q3033549
2004Q20225517
2004Q1045475
2003Q4040543
2003Q3143524
2003Q2039555
2003Q11155726
2002Q4027639
2002Q3132615
2002Q2228604
2002Q1262332
2001Q4559312
2001Q3134552
2001Q2025618

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
2017Q41215-4
2017Q318153
2017Q21213-1
2017Q1911-2
2016Q41617-1
2016Q31318-5
2016Q21320-8
2016Q124915
2015Q42022-2
2015Q320147
2015Q21120-10
2015Q11123-11
2014Q4913-3
2014Q3819-11
2014Q2633-27
2014Q11119-8
2013Q416133
2013Q314140
2013Q21314-1
2013Q117116
2012Q41219-7
2012Q31020-10
2012Q224167
2012Q1626-20
2011Q428235
2011Q31124-13
2011Q2226-24
2011Q11421-6
2010Q4822-14
2010Q31127-16
2010Q2818-10
2010Q11415-1
2009Q41426-12
2009Q32125-4
2009Q2332112
2009Q144836
2008Q463658
2008Q3441232
2008Q2291514
2008Q1411724
2007Q432824
2007Q332725
2007Q21025-15
2007Q11129-19
2006Q41021-10
2006Q3928-19
2006Q21420-5
2006Q11116-5
2005Q41523-8
2005Q31234-22
2005Q21330-17
2005Q11433-19
2004Q4828-20
2004Q31620-4
2004Q21518-3
2004Q11127-16
2003Q41525-10
2003Q32030-10
2003Q2241311
2003Q1291019
2002Q4271215
2002Q3231310
2002Q2251411
2002Q136432
2001Q4401030

Chart 11
BUSINESS OUTLOOK SURVEY INDICATOR
DateBOS Indicator
2017Q42.45
2017Q30.77
2017Q22.67
2017Q10.58
2016Q40.93
2016Q3-0.87
2016Q2-1.70
2016Q1-1.51
2015Q4-2.96
2015Q3-1.23
2015Q2-1.30
2015Q1-0.73
2014Q4-0.56
2014Q31.26
2014Q20.02
2014Q11.93
2013Q40.60
2013Q30.27
2013Q2-0.14
2013Q1-1.20
2012Q4-0.34
2012Q30.21
2012Q21.62
2012Q11.51
2011Q41.03
2011Q30.83
2011Q23.24
2011Q11.75
2010Q41.86
2010Q31.43
2010Q21.03
2010Q1-0.29
2009Q4-1.34
2009Q3-2.70
2009Q2-4.57
2009Q1-6.59
2008Q4-7.35
2008Q3-0.91
2008Q21.63
2008Q10.14
2007Q40.59
2007Q30.41
2007Q21.27
2007Q12.17
2006Q41.23
2006Q31.34
2006Q21.96
2006Q12.36
2005Q42.87
2005Q33.04
2005Q21.03
2005Q11.26
2004Q40.43
2004Q31.11
2004Q20.90
2004Q1-0.85
2003Q4-0.92
2003Q3-0.54
2003Q2-1.98
2003Q1-0.81
2002Q4-0.69
2002Q30.46
2002Q20.66
2002Q1-3.04
2001Q4-5.04
2001Q3-3.68
2001Q2-2.54
2001Q10.50