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Alberta Business Barometer: Small business confidence surges in May

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Confidence index in Alberta jumps 7.7 points; no longer lowest in country

Calgary, May 30, 2019 – the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released the monthly Business Barometer® results today, revealing a substantial 7.7 point increase in small business confidence among Alberta’s entrepreneurs in May. 

The Business Barometer index for Alberta is now at 51.8 points, continuing the upward index trend that has characterized Alberta’s small business confidence for the last four months. The index has increased 14.3 points in Alberta since January of this year. 

Although it continues to rise, the provincial index still lags behind the national average (59.7) by almost 8 points and is a long way from the 65 to 75 point range (on the 100 point scale) that signals a healthy and growing economy.

Hiring intentions are looking slightly better for small businesses in Alberta over the next three months. Thirteen per cent of business owners are expecting their full-time employment levels to go up, representing a 2 point increase from April’s results (11 per cent). Comparatively, 64 per cent expect their full-time employment level to remain the same, and 23 per cent expect it to decrease (down 6 points from April).

“The series of positive policy directions coming from new government will definitely benefit a lot of small businesses in Alberta,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, Alberta and BC. 

“The fact the new government promised and is starting to deliver on killing the carbon tax, launching a major new red tape cutting initiative, and allowing more flexibility in employment rules has put a skip in the step of many small business owners. Hopefully, time will show this new found optimism to be justified and the economy gets moving again,” added Truscott.

The provincial numbers for May were: PEI (66.3), Quebec (64.7), Nova Scotia (64.4), Ontario (61.7), New Brunswick (54.7), British Columbia (53.1), Manitoba (52.3), Alberta (51.8), Newfoundland & Labrador (49.4), and Saskatchewan (49.1).

The May 2019 findings are based on 745 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through May 17. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.

For media enquiries about the Alberta results, please contact Richard Truscott, Vice-President, Alberta and BC, at [email protected] or 403-444-9290. For national results, please contact Ted Mallett, Chief Economist, [email protected] or 647-464-2814

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 industry and region, including 10,000 Alberta members. 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 cfib.ca.