Economists always have lots to fret about. Anxiety over Europe, the slowdown in China and the printing of money in the United States can cause nasty worry lines. But in spite of it all, Alberta’s small and medium-sized companies are still the most optimistic in the country.
According to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the index of optimism in our province held essentially unchanged at 68.6 in June. On a scale between 0 and 100, an index above 50 means owners expecting their business’ performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.
Coast to coast, small and medium-sized businesses turned more pessimistic in June. The national index fell to 59.4— down almost three points from May’s reading. It’s the fourth consecutive monthly decline and the first time the index has been below the 60 mark since July 2009.
The CFIB survey supports research by ATB Financial. The Alberta Business Beat survey (released in March) suggests 87 per cent of businesses believe they will be “better off or the same” six months from now. And 76 per cent believe Alberta’s economy will be better or the same.
However, optimism may wane with the late June floods. The CFIB survey was released June 27th, so it’s unlikely that much (or any) of the impact of the flood would have been captured by the survey. July optimism levels could indeed be affected, since the floods most negatively impacted small and mediumsized enterprises.*
* Courtesy of Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist, ATB Financial