Survey says: Retail most optimistic Alberta industry

CALGARY, Jan. 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Retail business owners are the most optimistic industry in Alberta, according to one of two, new business indexes created by ATB Financial. Alberta retailers scored 77.5 in the ATB Business Index in the fourth quarter of 2013, a significant jump from 50 in the second quarter. Energy and construction business indexes, meanwhile, have both dropped over the same period.

When it comes to the overall economy, business owners from all three industries have similar levels of optimism, scoring between 68.4 and 68.9 in the ATB Economy Index.

"We wanted to gain an even better understanding of how Alberta-based small and mid sized business owners are feeling about their own businesses and the economy in general," says Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President, ATB Business & Agriculture.

"That's why ATB has developed the first indexes of their kind in Alberta."

ATB began recording scores for the ATB Business Index and the ATB Economy Index in the first quarter of 2013. The research, conducted as part of ATB's quarterly Business Beat survey to be released February 3, shows that Alberta small and mid sized businesses are optimistic about their business's future and the province's economy.

Overall, the ATB Business Index, which measures how Alberta business owners feel about their own operation's future performance, came in at 72.3 in the fourth quarter, up 2.5 points from the previous quarter. The ATB Economy Index, on the other hand, registered at 66.8, up more than 13 points from the first quarter of the year.

"When you really dive into the numbers, it's very interesting to see the impact seasonality and commodity prices have on the results," says Holbrook.

"It's encouraging to see that business owners feel better about things now than they did at the beginning of 2013."

The complete index results are attached.

SOURCE ATB Financial

PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2014/01/29/20140129_C6051_DOC_EN_36026.pdf

For further information:

Barry Strader
Corporate Reporter
ATB Financial
(780) 886-4398 (cell); (780) 495-1343 (office)
email: bstrader@atb.com