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AB small business confidence worst in the country in September

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CALGARY, September 27, 2018 – The monthly Business Barometer® index for Alberta ticked upward almost one point (0.9) in September according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Small business confidence sits at 54.8, 6.6 points below the national average (61.4) and remained at the bottom of the pack.

The employment picture has weakened, 18 per cent of respondents are planning to cut back on staffing while (up five points from August), while nine per cent are adding personnel (down four points from the previous month). The state-of-business health indicator is muted in September, 24 per cent describe their firms as being in good health, and 22 per cent describe their firm as being in bad shape. Unchanged from last month.

“Small business owners are responding to the economic uncertainty nationally with pipeline delays and provincially with further public policy changes on the horizon,” said Amber Ruddy, Director Provincial Affairs, Alberta. “Business confidence in Alberta is still well below the range of healthy economic growth. With new costs lingering, such as the increase in the minimum wage to $15 effective October 1, there is a huge need for policies that help not hinder small businesses,” added 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 for August were: Quebec (74.5), PEI (74.1), Nova Scotia (63.1), Ontario (61.2), Manitoba (61.1), New Brunswick (58.0), Saskatchewan (58.5), Newfoundland and Labrador (56.3), and British Columbia (55.9).

The September 2018 findings are based on 605 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through September 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 4.0 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries or interviews about the Alberta results, please contact Amber Ruddy, Director Provincial Affairs, Alberta, at [email protected] or 403-444-9290. For national results, please contact Ted Mallett, Chief Economist, [email protected] or 647-464-2814.

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 AB. Learn more at cfib.ca.