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AB Business Barometer®: Small business optimism ticks up

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Hiring intentions are muted, reversing the negative trend seen in the last 3 years

Calgary, June 28, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows a bump in the Alberta Business Barometer® index this June. Small business confidence gained three points in Alberta reaching 56.5.  Alberta remains weak relative to the national levels which sits at 62.2.

Full-time staffing intentions are muted with an equal numbers of employers looking to hire as to lay off (15 per cent).  This is the first time since June 2015, the number of employers looking to trim back matched than those looking to add to their staff complement. 

“Small business owners are more optimistic than they were last month, but the index continues to underperform compared to historic norms.  Although hiring intentions are lukewarm, the fact the staffing reductions have swelled is positive news” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta.

The state of business health indicator was up five points from May with 26 per cent seeing their firms in good standing compared to 19 per cent who see their firms in bad shape, down five points from the previous month.  Seventy-four per cent of business owners list tax and regulatory costs as a major cost constraint.

“Alberta entrepreneurs face many business challenges including attracting new customers, but it is government induced problems like higher taxes and more regulations that sting most,” said Ruddy.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level between 65 and 75 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential and a majority of owners expect their business’s performance to be stronger in the next year.

The other provincial numbers were: Newfoundland & Labrador (50.0), Prince Edward Island (74.5) Nova Scotia (62.5), New Brunswick (59.0), Quebec (72.8), Ontario (62.4), Manitoba (59.3), Saskatchewan (44.8) and British Columbia (58.8).

June 2018 findings are based on 798 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey.  Data reflect responses received through June 18, 2018.  Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.9 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director [email protected] or 403-444-9290
Ted Mallett, Chief Economist [email protected], 647-464-2814

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at cfib.ca.