Business confidence weaker than a year ago
The CFIB's long-term index of small business confidence was lower in February than twelve months earlier in both Alberta and in the country as a whole
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 24 February 2023 1 min read
Small businesses in Alberta were slightly more optimistic about the future in February than the month before, but the confidence level remained below where it was twelve months earlier.
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.
The long-term index in Alberta went from 51.3 in January to 52.5 in February.
It was a similar story nationally with the long-term index rising from 51.2 in January to 51.7 in February.
The index was highest in Prince Edward Island (63.0) and Saskatchewan (62.5) and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (45.3) and New Brunswick (45.7).
The index was lower than twelve months earlier in both Alberta and in the country as a whole. Alberta’s index was 60.6 in February 2022 and Canada’s was sitting at 62.5.
A shortage of skilled labour topped the list of factors limiting sales or production growth with 44% of small businesses in Alberta citing this as a concern.
Mentioned by 69% of Alberta respondents, fuel and energy was the most common input cost currently causing difficulties for small businesses in the province.
*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: The Gee family has owned and operated the Commodore Restaurant on Edmonton’s Jasper Avenue since 1942.
Today’s trivia question: Which Alberta community is home to the world’s largest statue of a mallard duck?