“This report shows the Canadian economy in an extended downturn,” said William Phelan, president of PayNet. “In a surprise, small businesses pulled back sharply on investment in capital expansion.”
More industry sectors are trending towards slowdown rather than strength. Accommodation & Food fell from an 8% rate to 3%. Agriculture is still decreasing, down 3%. Another cautionary sign is found in transportation investment, which has fallen by 12%. Wholesale trade reflects declining commodity prices, down 15%.
“Overall, the consumer is not picking up the where oil is leaving off. The energy break is not turning into consumer spending,” said Phelan.
The only good news can be found in construction (2%), and some moderate good news is seen in manufacturing (8%).
National loan delinquencies reflect moderately rising financial stress among Canadian businesses. PayNet Canadian Small Business Delinquency Index increased five basis points from 1.02% in January to 1.07% in February 2016. Delinquency in Accommodation/Food, Manufacturing, Transportation and Wholesale all increased by at least 10% from January.
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