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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Retail sales softening

When inflation is taken into account, year-over-year sales in July were down by 1.5% in Alberta

Home construction easing but still upbeat

Housing starts in Alberta stood at 33,586 units (SAAR) in August, down 8,662 units (-20.5%) from July but 2,627 units (+8.5%) higher than 12 months earlier

Job vacancies rose again in the second quarter

Employers in Alberta were actively seeking to fill over 100,000 vacant positions in the second quarter of 2022

Inflation down but not out in August

Despite the drop in the inflation rate, the Bank of Canada is still likely to hike interest rates with its trend-setting policy rate potentially rising by another 75 basis points

Wholesale revenues retreat across the board

Seasonally-adjusted wholesale revenues in Alberta declined by 2.9% in July, but remained 20.6% above the same month last year

Behind the wheel

Despite a drop in the number of vehicles sold, higher prices drove up the value of new vehicle sales in Alberta in July

Alberta factory sales growth jostled in July

After reaching an all-time high in May, factory sales in the province edged down by 0.7% in June and by 2.6% in July

Oil output holding near record high

Alberta’s oil production averaged near 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, just 1.7% shy of the historic peak set in November 2021

Exports took a breather as oil prices eased in July

With oil prices ticking down again in August, we expect a fairly similar story for Alberta’s exports in next month’s trade report

Musical chairs: Employment gains and losses by industry in Alberta

Eight sectors posted an increase in August while employment in the other eight decreased

Unemployment increased in Alberta in August

According to the latest Labour Force Survey results, Alberta’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate went from 4.8% in July to 5.4% in August

Running uphill

Alberta’s economy is on track to be one of the top performers in the country this year due to the boost it is receiving from strong commodity prices

Interest rates rise again

The Bank of Canada has increased its trendsetting policy interest rate by 75 basis points to 3.25%

Building permits still upbeat in Alberta

Construction intentions edged up in July and stood near the multi-year peak reached in May

The sun is shining on oil and gas investment

National oil and gas extraction spending continued to improve for the sixth straight quarter

Canadian economy grew again in the second quarter

Looking forward, growth is expected to slow over the second half of the year

More rain means more grain

Higher-than-average precipitation and more moderate temperatures in 2022 are expected help Alberta’s wheat production reach the highest level on record

Business confidence cooled in August

With inflation, interest rates and labour shortages weighing on the economy, it’s not surprising that business confidence is down from where it was last summer

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