Shopping spree coming to a halt
Retail activity in Alberta retreated for the second month in a row
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 23 November 2022 1 min read
Alberta’s seasonally-adjusted retail revenues in September declined by $127 million (-1.6%) from August and stood $192 million (-2.4%) below the historic peak reached in May 2022.
The story gets a bit more pessimistic once you factor in inflation on top of seasonality. Real (inflation-adjusted) spending in Alberta’s retail stores was down by 3.4% in September compared to -1.6% nationally.
Relative to last year’s levels, however, things still remain fairly resilient. Over the first three quarters of 2022, nominal revenues were up by $4.3 billion (+6.5%) compared to the same timeframe in 2021. Alberta’s year-to-date gains (in dollar terms) were third in line in the country, after Ontario and Quebec.
When it comes to a weak consumer spending report in September, Alberta was no anomaly. Canadian retail spending fell $312 million (-0.5%) as seven out of ten provinces posted declines in the month, tempered by a relatively strong increase in Ontario (+1.0%).
Early estimates by Statistics Canada suggest a modest 1.5% rebound in national sales in October.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Property taxes are included in the calculation of the Consumer Price Index.
Today’s trivia question: Which team won the 2018 FIFA World Cup?