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The Owl focuses on the day’s top economic news.

ATB Financial’s economics team interprets the latest statistics on wages, employment, inflation, the oil and gas industry and other economic drivers in our province.


Golden gooey goodness goes global

Posted on: March 20, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Agriculture and agri-food production in Alberta is big business, and it’s not just the traditional beef, wheat and canola in the limelight. One of the most celebrated and successful food products coming out of Alberta these days is honey—and we’re selling it to the world.

Over the last decade, global exports of honey grew almost five-fold. Sales have grown exponentially since 2011 (see graph), and last year smashed all records with exports totalling over $33 million.

The United States is by far the largest export market for Alberta’s honey. Last year we sold nearly $23 million south of the border. Given America’s enormous size and growing economy, our domestic producers should be able to increase their share of the US market—that is, barring some disruption to trade flows. The tone coming out of the White House lately suggests that Canada is not one of President Trump’s trade targets.

But the biggest increase over the last decade has to be Japan, where sales of the sticky stuff skyrocketed from $600 thousand to nearly $10 million. Japan also offers the potential to become a much larger export market. While the country’s population growth is flat and it’s economy tepid, it is still an enormous market of 126 million people—roughly three-and-a-half times the size of Canada. Alberta honey producers have plenty of room to grow their way in.Global exports of Alberta honey, graph

Alberta Economic Outlook

ATB Financial’s Alberta Economic Outlook summarizes research on Alberta’s most important sectors, covering the first quarter of 2015. It analyzes the province’s economic happenings and outlines what may occur in the next quarter. Read the Outlooks below for the latest on our economy.

Q1 2015 | Q2 2015

Alberta’s GDP prone to large swings

Posted on: April 28, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
From craggy mountains to flat grasslands, seas of trees to the mysterious hoodoos, Alberta is a land of extremes. The same holds true for its economic growth.

Earnings continue their decline

Posted on: April 27, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
One way companies can adapt to tougher economic conditions is to lower their costs, including wages. Earnings of Alberta employees have been trending negatively for nearly two years.

Retail continues to show strength

Posted on: April 26, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
From car flags to hockey jerseys, playoff fever has had—and is still having—a profound effect on Alberta retailers. While the latest retail report doesn’t capture this month’s hockey frenzy, it does suggest continued strength in Alberta’s retail sector.

Oil sands output recovers from forest fire disruption

Posted on: April 25, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
Since Alberta’s oil sands operations are located in forested areas, the fires that raged through northern Alberta's forests in 2016 forced a significant shutdown of production.

Wholesale trade rises for fifth consecutive month

Posted on: April 24, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
A few indicators are suggesting Alberta’s economy is picking up steam. Labour market statistics and housing start numbers are among them, as well as wholesale activity.

Commercial construction spending in Edmonton and Calgary

Posted on: April 21, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
Hockey fans in Calgary and Edmonton may be experiencing different emotions—much more upbeat in the capital city today. But differences in hockey playoffs aside, Alberta’s two major cities have much more in common these days...

Adapting to the post-recession economy

Posted on: April 20, 2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team
As Albertans, we are all aware of the economic clouds that have been hanging over our province for the last two years.

 

Perch

Each Perch focuses on a topic that’s important to Alberta​ns.

In this edition, we did a survey to understand how much Albertans intend to spend over the holidays and if they are planning to travel. It’s important to know what to expect because the surge in spending that takes place ahead of Christmas is often critical to a retailer’s survival.

So sit back and enjoy. ​


Read Perch now

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The Economic Team​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ (Left to right: Nick Ford, Todd Hirsch and Rob Roach)

Our Economics Team​​​

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Todd Hirsch

Chief Economist

Todd Hirsch is the Chief Economist at ATB Financial. At ATB, Todd spends the bulk of his time sharing the story of Alberta’s economy in clear-eyed and energetic talks across the province and the rest of the country.

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Nick Ford

Economist

Nick Ford is an Economist at ATB Financial. Nick joined ATB’s Economics and Research team in February 2014 where he researches, tracks and reports on economic indicators and trends that impact Albertans.

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Rob Roach

Director of Insight

As a Director of Insight with ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team, Rob examines the economic and social forces that affect Albertans’ quality of life.

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ATB’s Extended Reports​

Tightening Santa's belt

Holiday spending and travel intentions (December 2016)

Read the report.

Preparing for success

Post-secondary education in Alberta (September 2016)

Read the report.

Selling our wares

Alberta's international exports (May 2016)

Read the report.

Happiness in Alberta

The full results of ATB Financial’s Alberta Happiness Survey (June 2015)

Read the report.

Hanging out your shingle

Self-employment in Alberta (November 2015)

Read the report.

People power

Population trends in Alberta (March 2016)

Read the report.

The Owl

The latest developments in business and economics from a unique Albertan perspective.

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