CALGARY, Oct. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - While economic crime against organizations has risen nationally with 37% of organizations surveyed experiencing it1, Alberta has reported lower instances of economic crime than its national counterparts in PwC's latest Business and Consumer Confidence Index.
Krista Mooney, Director of PwC's Forensic Services in Alberta, says, "While Alberta sits below the national average, the threats from economic crime continue to evolve. Like a virus, savvy fraudsters adapt to the trends that affect all organizations and economic crime will continue to be a major concern for organizations of all sizes and virtually in every sector."
In terms of business threats to their organization, Alberta businesses are most concerned about cyber threats, including lack of data security (68%), followed by the inability to protect intellectual property (50%) and bribery and corruption (25%).
One-in-five Albertans has been a victim of some sort of identity theft or fraud in the past 12 months. They have most commonly been victim to credit card fraud (8%) and hacking of their e-mail account (8%).
Continuing focus on cybercrime
Cybercrime is listed as the biggest concern to Alberta businesses. Mooney notes, "We have to also consider that a significant percentage of those who did not report cybercrime may have suffered an event – and not even know about it. The bottom line is that much of the damage created by these attacks is not disclosed."
Business and consumer confidence
The overall index increased by two points and the confidence in fiscal conditions index increased sharply with close to a 30% increase since August 2014. Fiscal conditions refer to specific government policies – changes in the Government of Alberta's leadership could be one of the factors that have amplified businesses' confidence in this index.
Overall business confidence remains steady with minimal decreases across all the indices: future interest rates - 2.6% decrease, future business conditions - 6.1% decrease, future unemployment - 2.5% decrease, current business conditions - 3.0% decrease.
Overall confidence in the economy is identical between Alberta businesses and consumers. Since August 2014, consumers' confidence in the economy has risen with increases in all the indices, particularly the buying major household items index (9.9% increase) and buying a house index (6.9% increase).
About the bimonthly PwC Business and Consumer Confidence Index
The Index determines the level of confidence business leaders and the public have in the economy, now and for the future. It does this by tracking several indices. The indices we look at are:
- future interest rate
- future business conditions
- future unemployment
- current business conditions
- fiscal conditions
About PwC's Private Company Services (PCS)
More than 65% of our clients are private businesses, ranging from high net worth individuals to owner-managed family businesses and large, professionally-managed businesses. We understand private businesses and are committed to helping owners and CEOs achieve their long-term personal and business goals. For more information on PwC Alberta and our Private Company Business practice, please visit www.pwc.com/ca/DoingBusinessinAlberta.
About PwC Canada
PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. Our 5,700 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 184,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.
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1 According to the 2014 PwC Global Economic Crime Survey (GECS) – Canadian supplement
SOURCE: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
For further information: Nithya Ramachandran, T: +1 403 472 7067, Email: [email protected]