Business Barometer®: Alberta small business confidence remained in the cold in January

Calgary, January 30, 2020 – The latest monthly Business Barometer® results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) show Alberta’s small business confidence dropped 1.3 points in January to an index of 37.0. Alberta remains the province with the lowest confidence in the country and is well behind the national indicator of 55.3 points. CFIB considers an index between 65 and 70 an indication of a strong economy, both nationally and provincially.

“Alberta small business confidence declined slightly in January 2020 compared to the large drops in November and December 2019,” said Keyli Kosiorek, CFIB’s Alberta Policy Analyst. “This slight decline signifies that Alberta’s small businesses may be a bit more hopeful about the province’s economic prospects heading into 2020, but confidence still remains quite low. Rising costs such as, property taxes, the federal carbon tax and the health of the oil and gas industry continue to weigh heavily on small businesses.”

“While Alberta and Saskatchewan are still the most downcast provinces, the rest of the country seems to be following their lead,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president and chief economist. “Staffing plans for the next three months, in particular, remain weak, with more business owners planning to lay off staff than those planning to hire.”

Only 9 per cent of Alberta’s small business owners expect to increase their full-time employment levels over the next three months, while 34 per cent anticipate a decrease.

National small business confidence dropped only 0.2 points to 55.3 in January. The provincial numbers for January were: PEI (65.3), Quebec (63.5), Ontario (59.9), Nova Scotia (59.5), New Brunswick (59.4), Manitoba (57.4), British Columbia (56.4), Newfoundland & Labrador (48.6), Saskatchewan (42.7) and Alberta (37.0).

January 2020 findings are based on 864 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from January 6th to the 20th. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.3 per cent 19 times in 20.
For media enquiries about the Alberta results, please contact Keyli Kosiorek, CFIB’s Alberta 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 (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