ATB Survey shows growing optimism

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX:  There are signs of growing optimism that believe Alberta’ s economy will be stronger in six months.

There’s no doubt Alberta’s economy is still facing a tough road ahead. But, according to ATB Financial’s most recent Business Beat survey, there are signs of growing optimism.

This latest round of surveying showed an increase in the number of small- to medium-sized businesses that believe Alberta’s economy will be stronger in six months. When asked about the province’s expected general economic performance, ATB’s Economy Index jumped up from 19.2 in the first quarter of the year to 32.3 in the second quarter.

The ATB Business Index increased, too. After reaching an all-time low of 40.9 at the end of last year, optimism appears to be mounting. The latest reading of ATB’s Business Index was 47.3. A value less than 50 means more business owners are pessimistic than optimistic. Despite the growth in the two indices, both economic and business optimism levels have been pinned below 50 for a little over a year.

Businesses have had reason to be somewhat optimistic. At the time of surveying, the price of oil was increasing, there was a slowdown of major layoff activity, and Alberta experienced a low number of business bankruptcies in the province—this remains true today.

This latest version of the Business Beat survey has some fantastic information that can help everyone better understand the life and resiliency of Alberta business owners. In particular, this issue focussed on the makeup of the entrepreneur, a breed of business mind well-known to our province.  You can find the full ATB Business Beat here.

Nick Ford – Economist      July 29 2016

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