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    Expectations of Québec businesses a little more optimistic for the third quarter of 2021

    Notice of release

    Québec, September 30, 2021. – The Institut de la statistique du Québec released an analysis today entitled Attentes des entreprises du Québec pour le troisième trimestre de 2021. It looks at how Québec businesses continued to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic in the third quarter of 2021 and how they see the future in the near term.   


    Profitability and other performance indicators for the next three months 

    • 20.6% of businesses expect their profitability to decline (vs. 29.7% in the previous quarter).
    • Only 12.9% of businesses expect their sales to decline (vs. 21.2%) and 22.7% expect them to increase (vs. 24.8%).

    Survival and plans for the coming year

    • 85.1% have the cash flow they need to keep operating (vs. 79.7% last quarter).
    • 27.3% of businesses intend to expand their premises, restructure or invest in or acquire other businesses (vs. 21.7%).
    • 4.6% of businesses have plans to transfer or sell (vs. 3.8%), while 1.6% are planning to close (vs. 1.2%).

    Anticipated obstacles in the next three months

    • Difficulty recruiting skilled labour (47.6%, vs. 42.7% last quarter)
    • A labour shortage (45.5%, vs. 38.7%)
    • Difficulty retaining skilled employees (31.4%, vs. 28.6%)
    • Higher cost of inputs (34.5%, vs. 34.0%)
    • Difficulty acquiring inputs, products or supplies domestically (22.7% vs. 23.4%).

    Teleworking and office space

    • 25.9% of businesses anticipate that some of their employees will continue to work from home most of the time once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
    • 10.8% plan to reduce their current office space based on how many of their employees continue to work from home.

    In addition to these results, the full analysis presents businesses’ short-term expectations for certain indicators (profitability, sales, number of employees, vacancies, price of goods and services, etc.); cash flow status and debt capacity; survival prospects and short-term plans; short-term obstacles; adoption of digital technologies and teleworking on a permanent basis; procurement of personal protective equipment; and use of on-site rapid COVID-19 test kits.

    The results are from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, third quarter 2021, conducted by Statistics Canada from July 2 to August 6, 2021. This edition used a probabilistic approach and covers only businesses with employees. For Québec, the results presented are based on responses from 4,654 businesses.

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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