Pressures mounting on retail sales
The inflation rate for consumer goods in the province averaged 9.2% through August
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 21 October 2022 1 min read
Retail activity in Alberta held fairly steady at the end of the summer.
Alberta’s seasonally-adjusted retail revenues fell $2 million (-0.02%) in August, after increasing by $203 million (+2.6%) in July.
A sharp contraction in gasoline prices pushed revenues at gasoline stations down by 7.8% in the month, but this was largely offset by an increase in sales at motor vehicles and parts dealers (+8.6%).
Over the first eight months of the year, sales were up by $3.7 billion (+6.4%). While this appears favourable, it pales when you consider inflation. The inflation rate for consumer goods in the province averaged 9.2% through August, the highest average over the first eight months of the year since the early 1980s.
The trend was roughly the same elsewhere in the country as Canadian retail sales were up by $40.2 billion (+9.1%) relative to where things stood through August last year. While sales in every province were up during this period, Ontario alone drove over half of the aggregate national increase.
Given that inflation remained sticky in September, we expect the key elements of the story to remain mostly unchanged in next month’s retail report.
Answer to the previous trivia question: About 24% of Alberta’s labour force is in the age 55 or older category.
Today’s trivia question: Given that it is the postseason for Major League Baseball, how many times have the New York Yankees lost the World Series?