Manufacturing revenues continue to buck the price trend
Alberta factory shipments rose to their highest level in four months
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 17 July 2023 1 min read
After holding steady in April, Alberta posted a modest jump in factory sales in May on the back of widespread gains across sub-sectors.
According to new Statistics Canada data, the value of seasonally-adjusted manufacturing shipments in Alberta rose by 3.9% to $9.4 billion in May, the highest level in four months.
Alberta’s manufacturing sector is strongly connected to its resource-based industries with food, lumber, chemicals and refined petroleum products representing 74% of total shipments in 2022.
Prices of all these commodities continued to edge down in May, but that did not deter the manufacturing sector from posting fairly healthy revenues.
National industrial prices of refined petroleum products—our largest sub-sector—dropped to a 17-month low in May while revenues of the same jumped 6.8% and drove over half the aggregate increase in Alberta.
It was a similar trend across food, wood and chemicals products where the value of manufacturing sales grew in the month despite prices ticking down nationally.
Higher volumes continued to push factory revenues up above last year’s levels.
The value of manufacturing shipments rose 3.0% and 3.4% in Alberta and Canada, respectively, year-to-date (YTD) relative to the first five months of 2022 despite lower industrial product prices.
The pace of annual growth, however, has started to slow in Alberta and we expect this trend to continue in the coming months as lower prices weigh on the value shipments, along with the expected cool down in external demand in response to rising interest rates.
Answer to the previous trivia question: According to Trade Data Online, the combined dollar value of Alberta’s exports to Japan, China, and South Korea last year was $11.7 billion.
Today’s trivia question: The oldest building in Edmonton’s Strathcona neighbourhood is the aptly named Strathcona Hotel. In what year was it built?