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Alberta small business confidence takes a big tumble in November

Calgary, November 28, 2019 – The latest monthly Business Barometer® results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) show Alberta’s small business confidence index dropped 8.9 index points in November to an index of 44.7.

This large decline puts Alberta at the second lowest in the country, and well behind the national indicator of 56.1 points. CFIB considers an index between 65 and 75 an indication of a strong economy, both nationally and provincially.

“The significant drop in November indicates small businesses are not optimistic about the economy and have uncertainty regarding economic policies such as, natural resource market access and trade relations,” said Annie Dormuth, Alberta Provincial Affairs Director.

Last month, the Alberta provincial government released its first budget and plan for jobs and the economy. Preliminary results from CFIB’s post-budget survey reveal 66 per cent of business owners are confident the budget will improve Alberta’s economy.

Alberta’s small business small owners’ intentions to hire over the next three months weakened further this month. 10 per cent of business owners said they plan to increase their full-time employment (up one percentage points from October), compared to 31 per cent who anticipate a decrease (up 10 percentage points from October).

Nationally, small business confidence dropped 3.7 index points to 56.1, with the Prairies seeing the biggest declines, according to the CFIB’s latest Business Barometer®. It should be noted the cut-off for this month’s barometer was November 18th, meaning the data is not reflective of the CN strike.

The provincial numbers for November were: PEI (75.0), New Brunswick (70.2), Quebec (67.4), Nova Scotia (62.7), Manitoba (59.8), Ontario (58.3), Newfoundland & Labrador (54.8), British Columbia (52.3), Alberta (44.7) and Saskatchewan (44.1).

November 2019 findings are based on 822 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from November 4th to the 18th. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times in 20.  

Read the November Business Barometer®
For media enquiries about the Alberta results, please contact Annie Dormuth, 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

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (10,000 in Alberta) across every industry and region. 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 28, 2019

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