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Business confidence stronger in March

While not as high as it was before the provincial recession of 2015-16, the CFIB's business confidence index for Alberta is higher than at any point in 2019

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 1 April 2022 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.

The 12-month index for Alberta has increased, going from 60.6 in February to 62.1 in March. While not as high as it was before the provincial recession of 2015-16, the index is higher than at any point in 2019 when it averaged 48.1.

The index also increased at the national level, going from 62.5 in February to 65.1 in March.

The CFIB cautions, however, that “the survey was run at the beginning of the month, and it may not capture the international turmoil and uncertainty just yet.”

Business confidence strengthened in every province except British Columbia where it stayed the same at 59.8.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s index posted the largest increase, going from 48.2 to 56.0, but remains the lowest among the provinces.

Ontario had the highest barometer reading of any province at 67.2.

The index jumped the most among businesses in the natural resource sector, rising by 5.6 points from 59.3 in February to 64.9 in March. The next largest increase was in the hospitality sector (up 4.3 points).

The index went in the other direction in the transportation sector (down 7.0 points), finance (down 6.6 points) and agriculture (down 5.1 points).

*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: April first is sometimes called “April Gowk” because of a Scottish tradition that takes place on April Fools’ Day known as “hunting the gowk,” in which people are sent on phony errands.

Today’s trivia question: Which country is home to the largest hotel (by room count) in the world?

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

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


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