indicatorThe Owl

Manufacturing gains a few yards in November but no first down

Total sales over the first 11 months of the year were still down by 15.9 per cent

By ATB Economics 21 January 2021 1 min read

The value of shipments from Alberta’s factories improved for the third month in a row in November with seasonally adjusted sales rising by 1.4 per cent.

Nationally, manufacturing shipments went in the opposite direction, falling by 0.6 per cent in November.

The increase in Alberta was due to higher sales of petroleum and coal products (+7.5 per cent), machinery (+10.3 per cent), and chemicals (+2.9 per cent). The drop in national sales was largely driven by lower sales in the aerospace product and parts sector (-23.8 per cent), motor vehicle sector (-5.7 per cent), and motor vehicle parts sector (-6.0 per cent).

On a year-over-year basis, Alberta’s manufacturing sales in November were off by 8.5 per cent compared to the same month in 2019 while national sales were down by a more modest 4.8 per cent.

Even though Alberta’s manufacturers have been slowly closing the gap between monthly sales in 2020 and monthly sales in 2019, total sales over the first 11 months of the year were still down by 15.9 per cent or $11.2 billion. Petroleum and coal product sales in 2020 were off by 41.0 per cent or $8.1 billion compared to the same point in 2019.

Nationally, year-to-date sales were off by 12.1 per cent or 76.4 billion over the first 11 months of the year.

Despite somewhat higher gasoline prices, we might see some pullback in monthly manufacturing sales in the early part of 2021 due to the overall economic dampening effects of the surge in the virus and related public health restrictions.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The Bank of Canada stopped issuing $1,000 bills in 2000.

Today’s trivia question: Which province has the larger manufacturing sector as measured by annual sales: Alberta or British Columbia?

The value of shipments from Alberta’s factories improved for the third month in a row in November

The value of shipments from Alberta’s factories improved for the third month in a row in November


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