indicatorThe Owl

Factory sales soften in February

Seasonally-adjusted manufacturing shipments in Alberta were down by almost 10% in February

By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 17 April 2023 1 min read

Thursday’s Owl reflected how lower oil prices are putting a dent in Alberta’s export revenues. It is a similar story in the manufacturing sector.

According to new Statistics Canada data, the value of seasonally-adjusted manufacturing shipments in Alberta fell $933 million (-9.6%) in February and erased most of the January rebound.

Revenues for the three biggest sub-sectors—refined petroleum products (-27.3%), food (-3.6%), and chemicals (-8.3%)—were down in the month and largely overshadowed upticks in the sales of machinery (+12.5%) and fabricated metal products (+11.6%).

Easing national industrial prices were partially responsible for the drop. This was particularly the case for petroleum and coal products, prices of which fell to the lowest level in twelve months.

Despite the large monthly decline, revenues were upbeat relative to the earlier months of 2022. On a year-to-date basis, factory sales were up by almost $2.0 billion (13.2%) in Alberta—the second highest increase (in dollar terms) among all provinces.

It was a similar story nationally where the value of February’s manufacturing shipments fell by $2.7 billion (-3.6%) compared to January with Alberta driving over a third of the aggregate decline.

Answer to the previous trivia question: At 22.5 million acres, the largest farm in the world (in terms of acreage) is the Mudanjiang City Mega Farm in Heilongjiang, China. The farm specializes in dairy and has around 100,000 cows.

Today’s trivia question: What percentage of new vehicles sold in the United States would have to be electric by 2032 given the latest regulations being proposed by the Biden administration?

Shipments from Alberta's factories pulled back in February after January's record high

Shipments from Alberta's factories pulled back in February after January's record high

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