Canadian exporters’ confidence is falling according to EDC

The slide is broad-based, led by a weaker outlook for international business opportunities.

According to a semi-annual report from Export Development Canada (EDC), trade confidence among Canada’s exporters fell to its lowest level since the European debt crisis seven years ago.

EDC’s Trade Confidence Index (TCI) dropped 5.3% bringing the trade confidence index down to 69.8, almost four points below the series’ historical average.

All five components of EDC’s index were down, continuing the decline seen in the 2018 year-end survey. The slide was broad-based, led by a weaker outlook for international business opportunities, but also reflects softer expectations for the Canadian and global economies.

EDC says tariffs and trade barriers remain the top concern reported by Canadian companies contemplating growing or maintaining their business outside of Canada.

More than one third (34%) of the survey’s respondents say protectionism is affecting their export and international investment strategies, while a similar share (31%) say the U.S.-China trade dispute is negatively affecting their export and investment activities.

Looking ahead, few Canadian exporters said they expect any respite. In fact, more than 90% of respondents either said they expect protectionism measures to worsen (47%) or stay the same (45%) over the next 12 months.

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