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Alberta small business confidence dips in November, survey says

Confidence among small business owners in Alberta took a big dive in November, according to the latest survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business says optimism dimming

Alberta's small business confidence index dropped 8.9 index points in November to an index of 44.7, according to the CFIB. (CFIB)

Confidence among small business owners in Alberta took a big dive in November, according to the latest survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The association's monthly business barometer for Alberta shows that small business confidence dropped by 8.9 index points to 44.7.

"The significant drop in November indicates small businesses are not optimistic about the economy and have uncertainty regarding economic policies, such as natural resource market access and trade relations," said CFIB provincial affairs director Annie Dormuth in a release.

The association says an index score between 65 and 75 is an indication of a strong economy, both nationally and provincially.

Alberta's decline puts the province at the second lowest in the country, well behind the national indicator of 56.1 points.

Early results from CFIB's survey after the latest provincial budget revealed that 66 per cent of business owners were confident UCP's fiscal plan will improve Alberta's economy.

However, only 10 per cent of business owners said they planned to increase their full-time employment, compared with 31 per cent who anticipated a decrease.

About 38 per cent of respondents reported their companies to be in poor shape, while about half of that proportion said their businesses were in good health.

Nationally, small business confidence dropped 3.7 index points to 56.1, with the Prairies seeing the biggest declines, the association said.

CFIB said it should be noted the cut-off for this month's barometer was Nov. 18, so the data does not reflect the impact of the CN Rail strike.

The findings are based on 822 responses from Nov. 4 to 18 collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members to a controlled-access web survey. They are considered statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times in 20, the association said.

The CFIB has 110,000 members nationally, with 10,000 in Alberta.

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