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REPEAT-U.S. Presidential Election-BMO Poll of Canadian Business Owners Reveals If "The Vote" Will Affect The Economy

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/03/12 -- With the U.S. Presidential Election coming down to the wire, BMO Bank of Montreal today released the results of a poll of business owners showing one-third (32 per cent) believe the U.S. economy will pick up after next week's vote and 27 per cent don't believe the American economy will improve after November 6th.

"Canada's outlook still depends quite heavily on the fate of the U.S. economy, with more than 70 per cent of our exports bound for that market," said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While that share has dropped from more than 80 per cent ten years ago, no other economy comes close to the U.S. weight in our trade flows."

Mr. Porter noted that while the U.S. economy continues to face important challenges, BMO Economics is predicting growth there to be 2.2 per cent, and just over that threshold in 2013.

"Without question, the overall health of the U.S. economy has a direct impact on the growth plans and performance of a significant number of Canadian businesses. What this also survey shows is that while it is still a very important issue, it is not the most pressing concern for businesses," said Steve Murphy, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

According to the BMO poll, when Canadian business owners were asked about the greatest challenges they face this year, the performance of the U.S. economy ranked 6th (cited by only 7 per cent of businesses), down from being the biggest challenge cited when asked the same question last year(25 per cent). The greatest challenges cited include:

--  Reduced consumer spending - 22 per cent 
--  Energy costs - 16 per cent 
--  Labour costs - 16 per cent 
--  Increased raw material costs - 11 per cent 
--  Global economic challenges - 9 per cent 
--  Performance of the U.S. economy - 7 per cent 

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Paul Cunliffe, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596

Twitter: @BMOmedia

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