A muted year for manufacturing in Alberta
Adjusting for inflation and population increase, Alberta’s annual manufacturing sales were down by 4.4 per cent in 2019.
By ATB Economics 19 February 2020 1 min read
The value of seasonally adjusted shipments from Alberta’s factories edged up just slightly at the end of last year, posting an increase of 0.1 per cent in December compared to November. Total sales for the year, however, were down 0.6 per cent ($472 million). Annual sales remain 4.1 per cent ($3.3 billion) below the record set in 2014.
Adjusting for both inflation and population increase, Alberta’s annual manufacturing sales were off by 4.4 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018 and by a whopping 18.3 per cent compared to the peak in 2014.
At 27.2 per cent of all manufacturing sales last year, petroleum refining is Alberta’s largest manufacturing subsector. Annual refinery sales increased by 8.1 per cent in 2019. Food manufacturing is the second largest subsector and it, too, had a good year with sales up by 4.7 per cent. Unfortunately, our third largest subsector—chemicals—saw sales fall by 14.1 per cent.
Other large subsectors that experienced declines include machinery (-4.3 per cent), wood products (-15.8 per cent), paper (-11.8 per cent) and primary metals (-7.7 per cent).
Subsectors that posted growth in 2019 in addition to petroleum refining and food products include plastics (+8.9 per cent), non-metallic mineral products (+1.0 per cent), computer and electronic products (+11.0 per cent), and electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing (+22.9 per cent).
Nationally, annual manufacturing sales grew by 0.5 per cent in 2019, but ending on a down note with sales down in each of the last four months of the year.