Four In 10 Canadian Businesses Don’t Expect To Turn A Profit Until 2023

Nearly 40% of Canadian businesses say they do not expect a return to pre-pandemic profitability levels until 2023.

That's according to bank HSBC's "Voice of Business" survey of more than 7,300 business leaders in 14 countries, including 536 Canadian companies.

The survey found that 25% of businesses will reach pre-pandemic levels of profitability by the end of this year, and another 36% expect to hit those levels by the end of 2022. But other companies expect a more prolonged recovery period, with 39% reporting that they will return to pre-pandemic levels of profitability in 2023.

The survey also found that Canadian businesses are feeling more pessimistic about their future growth prospects than entrepreneurs in other countries. In Canada, 56% of businesses say they feel more optimistic than they did a year ago compared to 72% in the U.S. and 64% globally.

Global supply chain bottlenecks, and more recent weather disruptions in B.C., have resulted in shipping delays and led to rising costs for companies. That may be contributing to a cooling outlook on trade, HSBC says.

The survey found that 29% of Canadian companies have increased the number of international suppliers they work with, compared to 36% among global companies. Just 12% expect international trade to become easier over the next year, compared to 20% of the global companies surveyed.