The Owl: Focused on Alberta’s Economy

Retail sales, unemployment rate, population growth, inflation, international trade—these are just a few of the economic trends the team makes sense of in The Owl.

Economics News

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Housing starts slightly lower in August

But still positive compared to recent years

Vehicle sales hit speed bump in July

Driven in part by supply chain disruptions, the number of new vehicles sold in Alberta was down by 11.7% in July compared to the pre-pandemic level in July 2019

Inflation in Alberta spiked in August

At 4.7%, inflation in Alberta was well above the Bank of Canada's target range

Manufacturing in Alberta slowed again in July

Lower wood product sales was the main reason for the drop

Playing catch-up

Football, the pandemic and the Alberta labour force

Unemployment rate in Alberta lowest in 18 months

The number of jobs in the province in August was 19,500 higher than in July for a growth rate of 0.9%

Oil and gas capital spending better but far from great

While the rise in capital spending relative to 2020 is good news for the economy, it will not be on par with pre-pandemic levels

Alberta’s export sector continues to hum along

Inflation-adjusted sales from January to July were higher in 7 out of 11 main sectors in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019

Shoppers spent more in Alberta in June

After adjusting for inflation, retail sales over the first six months of the year were finally higher than they were during the boom in 2014

Inflation in Alberta spiked in July

The cost of goods and services in Alberta was 3.7% higher than 12 months earlier

New vehicle sales in Alberta still playing catch-up

Adjusting for inflation, year-to-date sales were 6.3% below the level set over the first half of 2019

Factory sales in Alberta falter in June

A drop in May's record-breaking wood product sales were the main reason for the decrease

Spending on building construction on par with 2019

While higher than last year, year-to-date investment in Alberta was only 1.3% above where it was in 2019 and 12.7% below the level set in 2018

Public, private and self-employment during COVID

The number of public sector employees in the province was up by 1.2% or about 5,000 over the reference period

Production is up

Oil production in Alberta over the first half of 2021 was the highest on record, averaging 3.53 million barrels per day between January and June

A long way to go: Global vaccination rates

As of August 8, 14.6% of the world population has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 15.5% is fully vaccinated

Business conditions in Calgary and Edmonton keep improving

Statistics Canada’s Real-Time Local Business Conditions Index shows that the situation in Calgary and Edmonton improved significantly in July

Number of jobs up in Alberta in July

Employment in Alberta increased by 12,300 for a monthly growth rate of 0.6%

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