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Alberta small business confidence hits 6-month low

Calgary, May 31, 2018 – The latest monthly Business Barometer index results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows Alberta’s small business confidence is down 1.5 points, reaching 53.2 in May. Meanwhile, the national index jumped almost 6 points, rebounding to 62.5.

“Alberta's small business optimism has shown little positivity this spring. While there are immense business challenges, there are some areas where the Alberta government is directly contributing to economic uncertainty,” said Amber Ruddy, Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta. “Sweeping new labour rules are coming into effect and entrepreneurs are caught off guard. These new rules don’t add an ounce of optimism to Alberta’s economic situation.”

Staffing intentions remain negative with about 18 per cent of respondents looking to reduce staff, while 13 per cent are planning to hire. The state of business health indicator has been lukewarm: 21 per cent of entrepreneurs see their firms in good shape compared to 24 per cent who see their firms in bad shape.

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 (49.2), Prince Edward Island (70.5), Quebec (68.1), Ontario (64.7), Nova Scotia (63.4), New Brunswick (60.6), Manitoba (59.3), British Columbia (58.8) and Saskatchewan (49.0).

May 2018 findings are based on 618 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through May 18. 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


May 31, 2018

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