indicatorThe Owl

Business confidence in Alberta slips during fourth wave

After rising to its highest level since 2014 in July (70.9), the index for Alberta fell to 62.0 in September

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 6 October 2021 1 min read

Based on a survey of its members, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) produces an index of small business confidence called the Business Barometer®. The barometer’s long-term index* is based on how businesses expect to be performing in 12 months.

After rising to its highest level since 2014 in July (70.9), the index for Alberta fell to 62.0 in September.


The index got as low as 26.2 in March 2020 just after the pandemic was declared.

The short-term index for Alberta, which is based on 3-month forward expectations for business performance, went from 54.3 in August to 47.6 in September. The short-term index bottomed out at just 9.0 in April 2020.

Both the long-term index and short-term index fell in every province in September. For Canada as a whole, the long-term index went from 67.1 in August to 57.8 in September while the short-term outlook went from 55.9 to 43.2.

According to the CFIB, “[u]ncertainty around the outcome of the federal elections (most survey responses were received in the second week of September), and a mix of new restrictions and implications from vaccine passports can partly explain this significant fall of optimism among all provinces and sectors.”

*Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’s performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.

Answer to the previous trivia question: There are approximately 54 million items in the catalogue of the Library and Archives of Canada.

Today’s trivia question: How many businesses with employees are there in Alberta?

The index got as low as 26.2 in March 2020 just after the pandemic was declared

The index got as low as 26.2 in March 2020 just after the pandemic was declared


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