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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.

Today’s trivia question: What is the largest company (by 2022 revenue) headquartered in Edmonton?

Inflation and rising cost of inputs cited as the leading short term obstacles by Alberta businesses in the third quarter of 2023

Inflation and rising cost of inputs cited as the leading short term obstacles by Alberta businesses in the third quarter of 2023

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