indicatorThe Owl

Alberta consumer spending down somewhat in August

The greater the severity of a second wave, the greater the downward pressure on spending

By ATB Economics 27 September 2020 1 min read

Consumer spending levels in Alberta have tapered since the burst of pent-up activity immediately following the reopening of the economy in May and June.

Average daily spending was down by 17 per cent in April compared to February, but rebounded in May and has been above February's pre-pandemic level ever since.

On a year-over-year basis, average daily spending was higher than it was in 2019 in both June and July by 4 per cent, but was down in August by 4 per cent.

It’s still early in the trend, but consumer spending may continue to weaken somewhat over the fall as high unemployment and the ongoing pandemic pour cold water on the income and confidence of consumers.

A plunge like we saw in the spring is unlikely unless there is another lockdown. With that said, the course of the virus will be a key factor. The greater the severity of a second wave, the greater the downward pressure on spending.

With that said, some products and services have, and will continue, to be in higher demand due to the pandemic, but the economic headwinds will work against strong overall growth for some time to come.

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The unique data in today's Owl was generated by ATB Financial’s Data + AI, Artificial Intelligence Delivery, AI Labs Team. Daily spending figures are an average of the previous two weeks.

The analysis is based on aggregate debit and credit card spending data of consumer customers of ATB Financial. While the data provide an indication of spending patterns in Alberta during the COVID-19 pandemic, ATB customers are not necessarily fully representative of all consumers in Alberta.

Protecting the privacy, security and personal information of ATB customers is not just our number one priority—it is at the heart of our corporate values and commitment to Albertans. The data used in this report are aggregated, do not contain personal information, and cannot be used to identify customers or merchants. For more information about our commitment to customer privacy, please visit our website.

The greater the severity of a second wave, the greater the downward pressure on spending

The greater the severity of a second wave, the greater the downward pressure on spending


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