Business confidence reaching historic highs

Business confidence in Alberta appears to be moving in the opposite direction of the thermometer.

Business confidence in Alberta appears to be moving in the opposite direction of the thermometer.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business announced on Thursday that a survey of its members this month revealed a confidence level of 74.6 on a 100-point scale — the highest level in 2 1/2 years and only the second time in four years that it’s hit the 74.6-point mark.

“Small business confidence is reaching historic highs,” said Richard Truscott, director of provincial affairs for the CFIB in Alberta.

“While that’s good news in many ways, a hot economy also brings with it labour shortages — a serious downside,” added Truscott. “As a result, we’re starting to see more concern seep into business owners’ perceptions about the overall business environment in Alberta.”

Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the CFIB survey said the shortage of skilled labour is limiting their sales or production growth. Meanwhile, 32 per cent of the business owners surveyed said they planned to add full-time staff over the next three months, down two points from September; while eight per cent were expecting to reduce staffing levels, up two points from last month.

Asked about the general state of the economy, 50 per cent of entrepreneurs described it as “good” in October, down one point from September; while eight per cent said it was “bad,” up three points.

Alberta had the highest business confidence level in Canada, with British Columbia next at 71.9 and Ontario third at 71.1. Newfoundland was at 68.5, Saskatchewan 68.1, Manitoba 64.2, Nova Scotia 61.8, New Brunswick 61.4, Quebec 58.4 and Prince Edward Island 52.7. The national average was 67.8, up 2.2 points from September. Alberta’s index rose 0.8 points in October. The CFIB says a business confidence index level between 65 and 75 means the economy is growing at its potential.

Just Posted

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month