Alberta business bucks national pessimism

Alberta business owners swam against a national wave of pessimism last month, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Alberta business owners swam against a national wave of pessimism last month, according to a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The CFIB, which represents 109,000 small business owners across Canada, calculated Alberta’s confidence index in June at 68.6 out of 100. That was down just 0.2 percentage points from the previous survey in May. In April, the provincial figure was 65.3.

Canada-wide, the average business confidence rating fell to 59.4, down from 62.1 in May.

That marked the fourth consecutive monthly decline, and pushed the national index to its lowest level since July 2009.

“The good news is the confidence level among entrepreneurs in our province is holding steady,” said Richard Truscott, the CFIB’s Alberta director. “The bad news, obviously, is the large drop in the national confidence numbers that appears to be driven by weakening domestic demand.”

Alberta continues to have the most optimistic small business owners in the country, with Saskatchewan next at 67.3, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 66.3, British Columbia at 65.6, New Brunswick at 59.2, Ontario at 56.8, Quebec at 55.3, Nova Scotia at 53.6 and Prince Edward Island at 53.3.

“We’ll have to wait for next month’s results to see the impact the floods in Southern Alberta will have on the optimism of our province’s business owners,” said Truscott.

The CFIB said a confidence index between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

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