Alberta small business confidence remains flat

Confidence declines across Canada

Alberta small business confidence sits at 57.7, unchanged for the second month in a row.

  • Hiring plans are still negative in September with 21 per cent of small business owners saying they will reduce their full-time workforce and 17 per cent say they intend to hire.
  • Cost constraints stemming from tax and regulatory costs are a concern for 73 per cent of small businesses, followed closely by fuel, energy costs at 61 per cent, and wage costs at 60 per cent.
  • Insufficient domestic demand is the top limitation for 61 per cent of entrepreneurs.
  • Only 22 per cent of small businesses say their overall state of business is good while 28 per cent say it is bad.

Canada's small business optimism dropped by almost three points in September to 56.9. Nationally, the hospitality industry saw the biggest drop in September—a dip of 6.5 points. Retail (58.0) and natural resources (55.2) are the only sectors to show an increase in confidence over August.

The provincial numbers were: Quebec (70.9), Nova Scotia (63.5), PEI (63.0), New Brunswick (60.8), British Columbia (59.9), Manitoba (57.3), Ontario (55.0), Newfoundland & Labrador (52.0), and Saskatchewan (50.9).

Measured on a scale of 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing at its potential.

September 2017 findings are based on 810 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through September 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent, 19 times in 20.