Business Outlook Survey—Spring 2021

Results from the spring Business Outlook Survey suggest that business sentiment continues to improve. Firms reported less uncertainty related to the COVID‑19 pandemic and strengthening demand from weak levels. Still, the recovery remains uneven, with firms tied to high-contact services facing ongoing challenges.


  • Interviews conducted from mid-February to early March revealed continued improvement in business sentiment after a difficult year.
  • Domestic and foreign sales prospects have picked up from weak levels a year ago, but the outlook remains challenging for firms tied to high-contact services.
  • Many businesses intend to increase their investment spending to meet growing demand and add needed capacity, often through digitalization and automation. Plans to hire are common for firms with healthy sales outlooks.
  • Reports of capacity pressures are frequent among businesses facing strong demand, but significant excess capacity remains among firms hit hard by the pandemic.
  • Firms expect positive pressures on the growth of their input prices, wages and output prices. Inflation expectations increased but most remain in the Bank of Canada’s 1 to 3 percent inflation-control target range.

More data and charts are available on the Business Outlook Survey Data page.

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Source: Bank of Canada