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A reason for optimism: Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, second quarter 2024 

May 31, 2024

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Ottawa, Ontario—On May 27, 2024, Statistics Canada released results for the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, second quarter 2024. This quarterly survey collects information on businesses' current environment and their expectations for the future. 

In general, the survey reveals that business conditions and optimism are improving across the country. Key findings include: 

  • Business conditions look positive. The majority of businesses (72.1%) reported being "very optimistic" or "somewhat optimistic" about their prospects over the next twelve months. This represents an 8.2% increase in confidence from the fourth quarter of 2023.  
  • The economy continues to grow. Canada's real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8% year over year in February. Segmented data for Alberta is not yet available, but all indications suggest Alberta's economic activity remains strong.  
  • Unemployment rises slowly. Canada's unemployment rate is 6.1%, which reflects a 1% rise year-over-year in February. Alberta's unemployment rate is slightly higher, at 7% as of April 2024. 
  • Cost-related challenges are top of mind. Most businesses anticipate rising inflation (54.4%), rising input costs (44.6%), and rising debt and interest rates (40.6%) as significant challenges or pressures over the next quarter.  
  • Labour-related challenges are also prevalent. Many businesses anticipate facing labour-related obstacles over the next quarter, citing recruiting skilled employees (31.3%), labour shortages (24.9%), and retaining qualified employees (21.9%) as the most significant challenges in this area. 

Comparative data for provinces and territories is not yet available; however, Alberta's Economic Dashboard reinforces this optimistic view of business conditions in Alberta, as evidenced by year-over-year solid increases in population growth, consumer spending, housing starts, and gross domestic product (basic prices and market prices). 

"The recent Canadian Business Survey on Business Conditions highlights the remarkable resilience of enterprises of all sizes in Canada, despite significant supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures over the past three years," said Doug Griffiths, President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. "We are cautiously optimistic that business conditions will continue to improve throughout the remainder of 2024." 

Understanding business conditions is critical for businesses, communities, and governments to effectively plan and respond to changing economic conditions. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce looks forward to sharing further information on the findings and implications of this survey shortly. 


For more detailed information, please contact: 

Akanksha Bhatnagar 

Director, Communications and Marketing 

Edmonton Chamber of Commerce 

Phone: 1 (780) 616-7153 


About the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce: 

The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is the official voice of business in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. With over 1,900 member companies that employ more than 100,000 people, we are one of Canada's largest and longest-standing chambers and among the country's most influential business organizations. For over 130 years, we've contributed to ambitious, foundational projects that have helped make Edmonton the city it is today. The Chamber supports business success by providing thought leadership on issues, delivering professional development, networking for businesses, and advocating for conditions that keep businesses competitive. 

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