Most businesses optimistic about their outlook
Inflation is cited as the top near term obstacle
By Mark Parsons, ATB Economics 30 August 2023 1 min read
According to new numbers from Statistics Canada, two-thirds of businesses in Alberta (66.3%) are either very optimistic (21.1%) or somewhat optimistic (45.1%) about their future outlook over the next 12 months.* This is down from the second quarter (72.5%), but slightly higher than the first quarter of the year (64.2%). The same percentage of Canadian businesses were in the “very or somewhat optimistic” category in the third quarter.
Alberta’s share of businesses in the very pessimistic category fell from 5.4% to 3.1% between the second and third quarter in Alberta, while it increased nationally from 2.9% to 4.2%. Alberta businesses not knowing what to expect rose from 13.2% to 17.0%.
The industry with the highest proportion of Alberta businesses feeling optimistic in the third quarter was arts, entertainment and recreation (89.5%), while large businesses or organizations (with 100 or more employees) reported the highest rate of optimism at 89%.
The survey also looks at obstacles to growth in the next three months. The top obstacles in Alberta cited were rising inflation (58.7% of businesses), rising input costs (44.5%) and rising interest rates and debt costs (41.4%). The story was similar nationally.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) also surveys businesses on the outlook each month. Their latest survey in July showed that 58.8% of CFIB members in Alberta expected their business performance to improve over the next 12 months, compared to 54.2% nationally.
*The Canadian Survey on Business Conditions collects information on the environment businesses are currently operating in and their expectations moving forward. The most recent survey was conducted from July 4 to August 8, 2023.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Labour Day became a statutory holiday in Canada? In 1894.
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