Alberta’s manufacturing sales continue to weaken

By ATB Economics 18 October 2019 1 min read

Shipments from Alberta’s factory floors fell for the third straight month in August. Seasonally-adjusted monthly sales were down by $4.7 million (-0.1 per cent) compared to July. On a year-over-basis, sales were off by $282 million (-4.3 per cent) compared to August 2018.

For Canada as a whole, sales increased by 0.8 per cent between July and August, but were down by 0.5 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Within Alberta, paper manufacturing has lost the most ground since last August with sales down by 27.9 per cent ($54.2 million). Primary metals were down over this period by 22.5 per cent ($41.5 million), and wood products were off by 20.1 per cent ($71.9 million). Our third largest sub-sector is chemical manufacturing and its sales were down by 19.3 per cent ($229.7 million).

On the positive side of the ledger were our two largest sub-sectors: year-over-year petroleum refinery sales rose by 5.6 per cent ($93.6 million) while food manufacturing sales went up by 4.1 per cent ($48.6 million).

The biggest jump occurred in the electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing sub-sector at 21.5 per cent ($13.5 million) followed by plastic and rubber manufacturing at 20.5 per cent ($28.7 million).

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