Optimism Among Canadian Exporters At 20-Year High

A survey by Export Development Canada (EDC) has found that confidence among Canadian exporters has surged to its highest level in more than 20 years amid mounting optimism that a sustained global economic recovery is underway

EDC's "Trade Confidence Index" jumped 19% from the end of 2020 to mid-2021, the largest six-month increase since the survey began in 1999, the government agency said. The recovery appears to be broad-based across all regions of Canada.

Canada's economy - like those of its global peers - is set to boom in the second half of 2021, as widespread public vaccinations allow businesses to reopen and consumers begin to dip into their pandemic savings.

A strong rebound south of the border is also expected to help. A growing share of companies reported orders from customers in the U.S., Canada's largest trading partner, had improved in the past six months, EDC said.

And 65% of respondents said they are planning to export to new markets, with the United Kingdom and Australia top destinations. Exports account for about a third of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP).

But concerns remain, notably the strong Canadian dollar - which hit a six-year high earlier this month - and mounting worries over trade protectionism, especially U.S. President Joe Biden's "Buy American" plan and fraught relations with China.

The survey was conducted between April and June of this year.