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Alberta small business confidence on the rise

Alberta index continues to close gap with rest of Canada

Alberta small business confidence rose about two and a half points in April to 57.9. Nationally, small business confidence gained a point and a half to finish the month at 64.4 -its highest level since November 2014.

  • Hiring plans increased in April with 23 per cent of small business owners saying they will reduce their full-time workforce and 15 per cent say they intend to hire.
  • Cost constraints stemming from tax and regulatory costs are a concern for 72 per cent of small businesses, followed closely by fuel and energy costs at 68 per cent, and wage costs at 51 per cent.
  • Insufficient domestic demand is the top limitation for 61 per cent of entrepreneurs.
  • Only 21 per cent of small businesses say their overall state of business is good while 28 per cent say it is bad.

The other provincial numbers were: Ontario (68.7), British Columbia (67.1), Nova Scotia (66.3), Quebec (65.7), Manitoba (63.5), New Brunswick (63.5), PEI (60.3), Saskatchewan (55.1) and Newfoundland & Labrador (43.8).

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.

April 2017 findings are based on 653 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through April 16.