Alberta small business confidence heating up heading into summer months, CFIB says

by MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Short-term business confidence in Alberta has risen by 2.2 points heading into the summer season and 3.4 points in the long term outlook. This from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ latest Business Barometer. 

This marks the first time since last August that Alberta business optimism has crossed 50, reaching 50.2. CFIB suggests heightened business performance over the next three months. With the 12-month confidence index at 53 points, it marks a lower than the optimism level of 56 points seen in June of 2023. Both small business indices remain below the national average.

“This slight improvement coincides with the recent decision by the Bank of Canada to cut the key interest rate, reducing borrowing costs for small businesses looking to invest or grow,” said Keyli Loeppky, Director for Alberta and Interprovincial Affairs. “This interest rate reduction also means lower debt payments and more money in consumers’ pockets, driving increased consumer spending at local businesses during the sunny summer days.”

CFIB says a number of challenges continue to exist, including insufficient demand and a shortage of skilled labour for 48% and 47% of Alberta’s small businesses, respectively. Seventy-seven per cent of Alberta small businesses report taxes and regulatory costs as their top cost constraint, followed by insurance costs (73%) and electricity costs (71%).

“Alberta’s small business owners have been struggling with lower consumer demand in recent months as a result of difficult economic conditions,” added Keyli Loeppky. “This renewed optimism is encouraging, and we remind Albertans to do what they can to continue supporting local this summer.”

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