Business optimism slightly up in February, CFIB says

by Morinville News Staff

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) February Business Barometer shows Alberta’s small business confidence up 2.6 points from January to improved slightly to an index of 39.6, still well below the national index of 60.5 points. CFIB considers an index between 65-70 an indication of a strong economy.

“A 2.6-point increase in Alberta’s index is welcome news after the significant declines in optimism we saw during the last half of 2019,” said CFIB’s Alberta Policy Analyst Keyli Kosiorek. “However, small business confidence still remains critically low, indicating that business owners have serious concerns about the economy and investor confidence.”

CFIB caution that the February numbers factor in the early part of the month, and do not reflect emerging business concerns over the Coronavirus, transportation network blockages, or the recent decision by Teck Resources to withdraw their application for the Frontier Mine project.

“It looks like there is some cautious optimism in the small business sector early in the month,” said CFIB’s Vice-President and Chief Economist Ted Mallett . “Most provinces and sectors improved their outlook over January views.

Nationally, small business confidence rose more than 5 points to 60.5 in February. The provincial numbers for February were: Quebec (68.3), Ontario (64.4), New Brunswick (61.6), Nova Scotia (59.7), PEI (58.3), British Columbia (56.2), Manitoba (55.1), Newfoundland (48.6), Saskatchewan (47.6), and Alberta (39.6).

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