Bank of Canada Finds Business Sentiment Improving

OTTAWA-Canadian businesses appear slightly more optimistic about their prospects in the months ahead as conditions are expected to improve for the country’s hard-hit resources sector, the Bank of Canada said Friday.

The central bank’s quarterly business-outlook survey found that firms’ overall investment and hiring intentions have improved, with businesses in resource-related industries starting to see a tapering in investment cuts caused by slumping oil prices. The survey suggests the overall negative view that prevailed through the first half of 2016 may be lifting.

“Many resource-related firms, such as those in oil and gas or mining, sense that activity has hit bottom,” the Bank of Canada said in the survey. “Given the relatively stable commodity prices in recent months, businesses now cautiously believe that sales will no longer fall, or will increase modestly.”

At the same time, expectations for inflation over the next two years edged down, the central bank said, tempering …