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Alberta’s small business confidence suffers setback

Provincial index falls more than 4 points; first major decline in eight months

Alberta’s small business confidence index suffered its first major setback after eight months of increasing or holding steady. Small business confidence in Alberta dropped 4.3 points in July to 57.3.

  • Hiring plans are still negative in July with 18 per cent of small business owners saying they will reduce their full-time workforce and 11 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 wage costs at 61 per cent, and fuel, energy costs at 59 per cent.
  • Insufficient domestic demand is the top limitation for 64 per cent of entrepreneurs.
  • Only 20 per cent of small businesses say their overall state of business is good while 25 per cent say it is bad.

The national small business confidence index dipped slightly in July to 60.7 points. The other provincial numbers were: PEI (73.8), Manitoba (68.9), Quebec (68.9), Nova Scotia (66.9), British Columbia (65.9), New Brunswick (63.9), Ontario (59.5), Newfoundland & Labrador (51.8), and Saskatchewan (50.0).

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.

July 2017 findings are based on 710 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through July 18. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.     

July 31, 2017