“SMEs are expressing higher investment intent than they were before the pandemic,” notes Pierre Clero, vice president, research and chief economist at BDC, which surveys the issue every three months.
“After a drop, we saw the numbers quietly rise,” he adds. Companies mainly invest in machinery and equipment to improve their efficiency in order to meet the labor shortage and also in technologies to increase their online presence. “
Companies are investing in the accommodation and restaurant sectors to develop new types of offerings to attract customers.
Nationally, confidence in the economy is highest in Quebec at 80% (+13 points), ahead of the Atlantic provinces (79%) and Ontario (74%). The national average is 74%.
In terms of investment intentions, they reached a record high in the provinces of Atlantic (92%) and British Columbia (90%). Quebec is second only to the Canadian average at 84%.
“Thanks to vaccination, companies are less afraid than before of experiencing another foreclosure,” explains Mr. Clearo. They are also encouraged by the strong demand for some commodities. A situation that should improve further in 2022 as the disruptions in supply chains, which have lasted longer than expected, are resolved. “
Ongoing problem: labor shortage
For the first time since March 2020, the difficulty of filling their positions has slowed investments for more business leaders.
“The labor shortage has been exacerbated by a decline in immigration since the beginning of the pandemic, which has slowed population growth,” summarizes Pierre Clérou. Even if we gradually return to the immigration thresholds we normally know, recruitment difficulties will remain serious in 2022, with many workers retiring. “
Selon l’économiste, face à cet enjeu persistant, les PME n’ont d’autres choix que de déployer un ensemble de solutions, que soit de mieux structurer le processus de recrutement, de s’afficher comme boneur de meillere offris working conditions.
“They also have an interest in expanding their employment pool by targeting more young people, even if it means investing time and money in training to get them to develop new skills,” advises Pierre Clero.
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