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AB small business confidence is subdued in November

The current state of business health is dismal compared to all other provinces

CALGARY, November 29, 2018 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for Alberta increased less than one point (0.7) this month to 53.8. This puts Alberta small business confidence 7.4 points below the national average (61.2) according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The indicator describing business health shows, 25 per cent of business owners say their firm is in good health, 52 describe it as satisfactory, and 23 per cent describe it as bad.

“Business confidence remains subdued and the general state of business continues to underperform compared to other regions of the country,” said Amber Ruddy, Director Provincial Affairs, Alberta. “In all other provinces, there is optimism with the current state of business affairs but unfortunately that is not the case in Alberta.” added Ruddy.

Business owners looking to cut back on full-time positions was 21 per cent of respondents, down 3 points compared to last month. While 10 per cent of small business owners are looking to add personnel, down one point from October.

Fifty-two per cent of businesses list insufficient domestic demand as the top limitation on sales and production growth. In terms of major cost constrains the top three concerns are: tax, regulatory costs (78 per cent), fuel and energy costs (69 per cent) and wage pressures (64 per cent).

“Governments should play a role in creating the conditions for local businesses to thrive. As municipal officials set their budgets, business owners urge them to keep the economic realities of running a small business in mind,” concluded 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 business performance to be stronger in the next year.

The other provincial numbers for November were: PEI (69.2), New Brunswick (67.2), British Columbia (62.1), Ontario (62.1), Manitoba 61.3), Quebec (60.9), Nova Scotia (55.1), Newfoundland & Labrador (51.8), Saskatchewan (49.4).

November 2018 findings are based on 707 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through November 16. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.7 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews with Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director please contact:
[email protected]

For national results, please contact:
Ted Mallett, Chief Economist
[email protected]

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in Alberta. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at

November 29, 2018

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