Business Barometer®: AB Small Business Confidence Begins to Wane

Provincial confidence index falls by 2.9 points to close out the summer

Calgary, August 29, 2019 – The latest monthly Business Barometer® results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) show Alberta’s small business confidence index dropped by 2.9 points in August, the second month of decline after five consecutive months of increases.

This drop pegs the Business Barometer for Alberta at 54.3 points, now the second lowest in the country, and puts the provincial index well behind the national indicator (60.6 points).

“It appears some of that hopeful optimism we saw building earlier this year has begun to wear off and it now looks as if sentiment is sliding backwards,” says Keyli Kosiorek, Policy Analyst, Alberta. “Alberta’s entrepreneurs are feeling the effects of a soft economy and continued economic instability. The provincial government must continue to focus on policies that support economic growth, job creation, and small business if it wants to see further increases in confidence levels.”

The Alberta index (54.3) is also well below the 65 to 75 point range (on the 100 point scale) that indicates the economy is healthy and growing at its potential.

Entrepreneurs’ intentions to hire over the next three months have also slightly worsened. In August, 10 per cent of business owners said they plan to increase their full-time employment (down 3 points from July), compared to 22 per cent who anticipate a decrease (down 2 points from July).

The provincial numbers for August were: Quebec (67.7), Nova Scotia (67.2), PEI (66.7), Manitoba (62.1), New Brunswick (61.3), Ontario (59.9), Saskatchewan (55.4), British Columbia (55.3), Alberta (54.3) and Newfoundland & Labrador (53.2).

August 2019 findings are based on 661 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received through August 19. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.8 per cent 19 times in 20.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region, including 10,000 in Alberta. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at