Optimism about the Canadian economy continues to slide: CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q3 2022)

According to the CPA Canada Business Monitor (Q3 2022) survey, only nine per cent of respondents are optimistic about prospects for the national economy over the next 12 months, a considerable drop from 52 per cent in Q3 2021.

Toronto, November 30, 2022 – According to the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)Business Monitor (Q3 2022) survey, only nine per cent of respondents are optimistic about prospects for the national economy over the next 12 months, a considerable drop from 52 per cent in Q3 2021. 

Twenty-one per cent of respondents cited inflation as the top challenge to the growth of the economy. Increases in interest rates (16 per cent) and the state of the global economy (15 per cent) were the next most common challenges listed. When asked about their own companies, nearly three quarters of respondents indicated that inflation is hurting their business (72 per cent), with a total of 37 per cent of respondents believing that inflation would impact their company for at least another year.

Company findings

The proportion of respondents who are optimistic regarding their business over the next 12 months also dropped, from 70 per cent in Q3 2021 to 40 per cent this quarter. The news wasn’t much better for other key business metrics -all have dropped on a year-over-year basis: 

  • 51 per cent of respondents expect their company’s revenues to increase in the next year, down from 74 per cent in the third quarter of 2021.
  • 42 per cent expect increases in profits, a decrease of 20 percentage points from last year. 

“Canadian business leaders expressed decreased optimism in their business outlook, with hiring plans being negatively impacted,” says David-Alexandre Brassard, CPA Canada’s chief economist. “Our results show only 37 per cent believe they will have more employees one year from now, compared to 52 per cent last year.”

In addition, respondents indicated challenges continue with supply chains with almost two thirds (63 per cent) reporting an impact on product availability and just over half (52 per cent) experiencing limited ability to deliver to clients on time.

Federal government finances

In the survey, business leaders were asked to what extent they had concerns regarding the federal government’s fiscal position. A sizeable proportion (44 per cent) indicated they are either very or extremely concerned, a similar proportion to the 47 per cent from Q2 2022. When asked what they felt was the most important factor to ensure responsible management of Canada’s finances, the largest group (40 per cent) indicated the need to setup hard limits on government spending and indebtedness, followed by improving oversight for government finances (26 per cent) and independent review of government spending (20 per cent).


The CPA Canada Business Monitor is issued quarterly, based on a survey commissioned by CPA Canada and conducted by NielsenIQ. The report draws upon business insights of professional accountants in leadership positions in privately and publicly held companies. 

For the Q3 2022 study, emailed surveys were completed by 508 of 6,695 people identified by CPA Canada as holding senior positions in industry (CFOs, CEOs, COOs and other leadership roles). Respondents work for a mix of small, medium and large companies, as determined by employee size. The response rate was 17 per cent, with a margin of error associated with this type of study ±4 per cent, with a confidence level of 95 per cent. The survey was conducted from October 20 to November 3, 2022. Further information can be found in the survey’s background document, which is available online at cpacanada.ca/businessmonitorQ32022.