Most Albertans agree the provincial economy is in poor shape

Albertans have very little confidence in the current state of provincial economic conditions. That’s according to a survey from Insights West that says nine-in-ten Albertans describe economic conditions as either poor or very poor.

“At the height of the economic crisis of 2008, Albertans knew that their province was doing better than those in Eastern Canada,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West in a press release. “Now, the level of economic confidence is close to single digits in Alberta, and residents are planning to spend less.”

The study, which surveyed 602 Albertans online, also said 40 per cent believe Alberta’s economy will decline in the next six months, while 20 per cent expect their personal situation to decline in the next six months.

Though economic booms and busts are nothing new for Albertans, many more plan to tighten their wallets by spending less on entertainment and major home renovations, also taking fewer holidays in order to afford what they foresee as more expensive gasoline and groceries.

As a result, businesses are feeling the crunch too. That’s according to Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who says that businesses are reporting people just simply aren’t buying products and services.

“People don’t have as much disposable income” says Ruddy, “and are making very deliberate decision on their purchasing and I think that’s going to be felt throughout the economy for awhile.”

In the last recession, Albertan’s experienced more of a “v-shape” recovery, according to Ruddy, where the economy dipped down and went right back up again. This time, however, it appears to be a “u-trend” and the downturn is taking longer than people initially thought to recover.

This means more businesses are looking to cut costs as well, and one of the main targets is laying off employees.

“It just speaks to how tough economic times are” says Ruddy about the survey, “and as we approach the provincial budget coming up we really hope the government takes into perspective how things are and then make policies that help businesses, not hinder their future growth”

Nonetheless, only 16 per cent of Albertans expect the provincial economy to improve in the next six months. If there’s a light in the tunnel, many Albertans feel they won’t see it at least for the next while.

 Thumbnail courtesy of Davebloggs/Flickr under creative common lisence with commercial use allowed

jlukey@cjournal.ca

 The editor responsible for this article is Daniel Leon Rodriguez, drodriguez@cjournal.ca