Survey of manufacturing executives shows lower economic optimism for 2019

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TORONTO — A new survey shows business optimism for the year ahead among Canadian manufacturer executives is lower than it was a year ago as trade issues weigh.

The survey, conducted by RK Insights, showed that 30 per cent of the 501 respondents were optimistic about business prospects for 2019, down from 44 per cent who were a year earlier.

It showed that 18 per cent of the senior executives were concerned about business prospects for the year ahead, but that 51 per cent were cautiously optimistic in a similar level to last year.

The survey, conducted in August and Sept. before a new North American trade deal was signed, showed an increase in concerns about the effects of U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Sixty-five per cent of respondents were very concerned about U.S. protectionism, up from 54 per cent last year, while 61 per cent were very concerned about Trump’s impact on bilateral relations, up from 45 per cent.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Plant Magazine, has a margin of error of about four per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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