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Evenly split

Small business confidence in Alberta

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 4 January 2024 1 min read

After a bit of a stumble in November, the latest Business Barometer® published by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows that business confidence in Alberta improved in December* and remains above the national average.

The long-term optimism index is based on how businesses expect to be performing in 12 months while the short-term optimism index is based on a 3-month outlook.

The long-term index for Alberta rose 4.3 points to an even 50 in December, down from the recent high of 59.4 in August and below last year’s average of 53.6.

December’s reading means half of Alberta’s small business owners are expecting their business’s performance to be stronger in 2024 with the other half expecting it to be weaker.

Sentiment over the shorter term is weaker at 42.0 as of December, down from 55.0 back in May and well below the 2023 average of 48.3.

A shortage of skilled labour and insufficient domestic demand were the top two limitations on sales/production growth mentioned by Alberta small business owners.

Nationally, the long-term index improved to 47.0 in December from 45.4 in November while the national short-term index rose to 39.8 from 37.3.

*Data reflect responses received from December 5 to the 8.

Answer to the previous trivia question: 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation.

Today’s trivia question: What percentage of all businesses in Canada are considered small according to Statistics Canada definition of small businesses as those with between 1 and 99 employees?

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’s performance to be stronger over the next three or 12 months outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level near 65 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’s performance to be stronger over the next three or 12 months outnumber those expecting weaker performance. An index level near 65 normally indicates that the economy is growing at its potential.


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