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Restaurant receipts reach new record

Restaurant receipts reach new record

Posted on: 9/1/2017 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

We love to eat out in Alberta. And that love reached record levels in June.

New restaurant receipts data show that during that month, Albertans spent $766 million at restaurants and bars across the province (seasonally adjusted). June’s total was more than $3 million higher than the previous record set last May (the month of Fort McMurray’s forest fires).

The love of eating out is not new to Alberta and it continues to grow. Even throughout the recession of the last couple of years, new restaurants and bars continued to pop up. Despite unfavourable labour market conditions and the fact that many Albertans felt and still feel unsure about their job prospects, the boom period of 2010 to 2014 resulted in more people dining out.

So, what is driving the recent increase in spending at restaurants? Alberta’s improving economy. That includes the stabilization in energy prices and improving labour market conditions. Over the last 12 months, Alberta’s economy has added more than 35,000 jobs and wages are also starting to improve after sliding for a couple of years. All of the above has likely instilled consumer confidence.

Alberta restaurant and bar sales, graph

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