Businesses expect slower sales in short term as cost, labour issues persist: survey

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce says businesses expect subdued sales in the short term as they face continued cost and labour pressures, despite slowing inflation.

According to the chamber’s Business Data Lab, which on Thursday released its first-quarter survey on business conditions, one-third of companies expect to raise prices next quarter.

The retail, accommodation and food services sector, along with wholesale trade, construction and manufacturing sectors, reported feeling the most impacted by ongoing price pressures.

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Most companies with at least five employees say they are still concerned about labour challenges, which businesses plan to address through higher wages, more flexible work arrangements, and enhanced training.

Around three-quarters of companies with recruiting and retention challenges believe this will hinder their production.

Nearly 16,000 businesses responded to the survey between Jan. 3 and Feb. 6.

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