The Bank of Canada released two separate reports today, both pointing towards a dismal 2009. The Canadian Business Outlook Future Sales survey from the fourth quarter of 2008 declined from 3.0 to -34.0, the lowest such level since the survey began. 57 percent of executives surveyed expect sales growth to slow over the next year, amid rising expectations that the recession will dampen growth prospects. The Bank of Canada Senior Loan Officer Survey (SLOS) also indicated similar sentiment. Respondents reported a sharp rise in tightening lending conditions, with the index rising to 75.8 from 55.0. The SLOS cites industry specific factors (mortgages, loans, interest rates) as one of the primary causes of tightening lending. The Bank of Canada remains pessimistic about investing and unemployment, with conditions continuing to decrease well into the New Year.
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