Business Barometer®: AB small business confidence stays flat

Provincial index remains virtually unchanged in September

Calgary, September 26, 2019 – The latest monthly Business Barometer® results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) show Alberta’s small business confidence index remained stalled in September, decreasing by a marginal 0.2 points.

This slight drop pegs the Business Barometer for Alberta at 54.1 points, which puts the provincial index a bit behind the national indicator (59.3 points) and is now fourth lowest in the country.

“It appears some of the hopeful optimism we saw building earlier this year has begun to level out,” says Keyli Kosiorek, Policy Analyst. “Alberta’s entrepreneurs are still feeling the effects of a soft economy and continued economic instability.  Business owners are hoping to see more policy moves in the upcoming provincial budget that will stimulate economic growth and job creation.”

The Alberta index (54.1) is still well below the 65 to 75 point range (on the 100 point scale) that indicates the economy is healthy and growing at its potential.

Entrepreneurs’ intentions to hire over the next three months are also looking fairly weak: 9 per cent of business owners said they plan to increase their full-time employment (down 1 point from August), compared to 18 per cent who anticipate a decrease (down 4 points from August). About one-third (30 per cent) of respondents report the health of their business to be in poor, while 14 per cent report their firms are in good health.

The provincial numbers for September were: Quebec (68.8), Nova Scotia (68.5), New Brunswick (63.7), PEI (62.9), Manitoba (62.6), Ontario (60.5), Alberta (54.1), Saskatchewan (53.1), British Columbia (53.1), and Newfoundland & Labrador (52.6).

September 2019 findings are based on 642 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from September 2nd to the 19. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.9 per cent 19 times in 20. 
For media enquiries about the Alberta results, please contact Keyli Kosiorek, Policy Analyst, at or 403-444-9290. For national results, please contact Ted Mallett, Chief Economist, 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 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