Things are looking up if you're an exporter, particularly those with sales in the United States.
It's a markedly different story for businesses tied to the sinking price of crude, according to the Bank of Canada's quarterly business outlook survey, released Monday.
The survey highlights Canada's increasingly two-speed economy: slow in the energy sector, but still positive elsewhere.
The Bank of Canada said the survey suggests "strengthening demand, especially among export-oriented firms and manufacturers," based on prospects for the next 12 months. The key drivers are the rebounding U.S. economy and a lower Canadian dollar.
Meanwhile, the outlook has deteriorated for companies tied "directly or indirectly" to the oil patch, the bank said.
On balance, businesses are somewhat less optimistic than they were in the bank's fall survey.
Nonetheless, business sentiment remains positive in all key areas, including sales, investments and hiring. Nearly half of respondents experienced faster sales growth in the past 12 months and 43 per cent expect sales to grow at a faster clip in the coming 12 months.
The balance of positive responses on future sales was lower than in the previous survey, mainly due to weakness in Western Canada.
"Expectations of a strengthening U.S. economic outlook are widespread, and firms seeing benefits from improving U.S. demand – either directly though their exports or indirectly through their export-oriented customers – are more optimistic than others," the survey said.
Businesses also reported that the weaker Canadian dollar will help them regain market share and boost competitiveness, the bank said.
It's a similar story on investment and hiring. More businesses expect to boost investment and hiring, than not. But the balance of opinion is less positive than in the fall, due mainly to declining optimism in Western Canada.
"The collapse in oil prices is weighing on investment intentions," the report said.
The balance of opinion also points to increased overall hiring, driven by companies with exposure to the U.S.
There was virtually no change in expectations about capacity pressures, labour shortages and inflation. Reports of labour shortages remain low, the bank added.
Businesses also reported "little change" in overall credit conditions in the past three months. A separate survey of loan officers, also released Monday, showed that business lending conditions were nearly unchanged during the final three months of 2014.