OTTAWA—Despite the high dollar, Canadian businesses are expecting a better year for international sales, according to the latest survey from Export Development Canada (EDC).
EDC’s Trade Confidence Index (TCI) found Canadian exporters are more confident about global demand for their products and new international contracts compared to six months ago.
The TCI rose from 74.1 in fall 2010 to 76.2 this spring. While the increase isn’t huge, it does move above the average recorded in the 2003-07 period. The fall of 2008 was the lowest point on record at 61.
“Canadian exporters are remarkably upbeat, considering the fluctuations in the world economy,” says Peter Hall, EDC’s Chief Economist.
The greatest confidence gains were in the infrastructure, environment, transportation and resources industries.
Optimism was widespread across Canada, with some of the most significant increases in Ontario (4.5) and Atlantic Canada (4.9).
Exporters in Western Canada, who had above-average TCI scores in the last two surveys, also reported modest increases in the spring.
The U.S. is still the main market for nine out of 10 Canadian exporters. But the EDC found a slight and steady increase to other regions such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico.
Canadian exporters also said they expect over the next six months to penetrate markets in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
“Although this segment of total Canadian trade is relatively small, it’s growing at an impressive rate,” the EDC report said.