Restaurant and bar sales heading into the second wave
Even though sales at Alberta’s restaurants and bars were 1.4 per cent ($9.9 million) higher in September compared to August, they remained well below pre-pandemic levels
By ATB Economics 24 November 2020 1 min read
Economic data can be frustratingly slow to arrive. Today’s release of restaurant and bar sales for September is a case in point.
On the one hand, September is a lifetime ago in terms of the pandemic and what we really need to know is how the sector will fare during the second wave.
With that said, the data from September are still useful for at least two reasons. First, they provide a sense of how the sector was doing before the rise in cases we are currently experiencing.
Second, the data help us understand the amount of ground the sector made up in September and how far it still had to go.
Even though seasonally adjusted sales at Alberta’s restaurants and bars were 1.4 per cent ($9.9 million) higher in September compared to August, they remained well below pre-pandemic levels.
While sales have almost doubled since the low bar set in April during the spring lockdown, they were still down by 16.8 per cent ($139.2 million) compared to September 2019.
On a year-to-date basis, Alberta’s restaurant sector was $339.5 million (23.7 per cent) behind where it was nine months into 2019.
The situation was a little worse nationally, with year-to-date sales down by 27.0 per cent ($2.6 billion).