Insights

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

Subscribe and get a quick daily snapshot of what’s happening in Alberta’s economy

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

At $841 million, Alberta’s exports to Mexico were down in 2020 compared to 2019 by 23 per cent.

Official GDP numbers are in

Alberta’s economy shrank 8.2 per cent in 2020

A profile of natural resource jobs in Alberta

Alberta is home to the largest number of natural resource jobs in the country

Payroll jobs edged higher in February

The number of employee positions was, however, down by 8.5 per cent (169,917) compared to 12 months earlier

To spend or not to spend?

Household savings during and after the pandemic

Retail sales in Alberta rose in February

Clothing stores, however, continued to struggle with year-over-year sales down by 26.8 per cent

Looser restrictions boosted restaurant and bar sales in February

Bars saw their (unadjusted) sales increase by 238 per cent in February but sales were still down by 62 per cent compared to February 2020

Eight in ten Canadians volunteered in 2018

The five billion hours spent volunteering in 2018 are equal to 2,622,296 full-time year-round jobs

It takes a village: Adapting during the pandemic

Successfully adapting to unwanted change is inextricably linked to our role as community members and community builders

New vehicle sales getting back to normal in Alberta

As of February 2021 new vehicle sales in Alberta were roughly back to where they were 12 months earlier just before the pandemic was declared

Economic outlook has improved: Bank of Canada

The Bank has revised the timeline for when a rate increase might occur from 2023 to “some time in the second half of 2022”

Five things to know about the federal budget

The federal deficit for the 2020/21 fiscal year is projected to come in at $354.2 billion followed by deficits of $154.7 billion this fiscal and $59.7 billion in 2022/23

Number of businesses in Alberta during the pandemic

Encouragingly, after large drops in the spring, monthly gains were posted in June through December, albeit not enough to make up for the ground lost earlier in the year

Manufacturing increases again in February

Shipments from Alberta’s factory floors rose for the sixth month in a row in February. Compared to January, seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales rose by 1.9 per cent to reach $6.1 billion

Oil prices holding up nicely so far

WTI has averaged almost US$62 per barrel since the start of March while the Western Canadian Select benchmark has averaged just under US$52 over the same period

Pandemic shines a light on precarious employment

Concern has been raised about a growing segment of western society referred to as the “precariat”

Job recovery remains uneven

The hospitality sector still has the biggest pandemic-related employment hole to fill 

Alberta's unemployment rate improved in March

The provincial unemployment rate went from 9.9 per cent in February to 9.1 per cent in March

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