indicatorThe Owl

Same story, different economic indicator

At first, there was an uptick in activity as parts of the economy that were closed reopened

By ATB Economics 19 October 2020 1 min read

As we look back on the months immediately following the economic lockdown, a pattern is forming.

At first, there was an uptick in activity as parts of the economy that were closed reopened. Then, with the pandemic and other headwinds still in play, the pace at which we were heading back to pre-pandemic levels slowed.


This is the case for Alberta’s manufacturing sector. After three monthly increases, seasonally adjusted sales contracted by 1.3 per cent in August.

On a year-over-year basis, manufacturing sales were down by 19.2 per cent ($1.2 billion).

Alberta’s second largest manufacturing sub-sector at the moment*—petroleum and coal products—was still down by 42.2 per cent in August compared to a year earlier.

Our largest sub-sector—food products—slipped by 3.0 per cent in August compared to July, but was 3.3 per cent ahead of where it was the year before.

Nationally, manufacturing sales fell by 2.0 per cent in August versus July and were down by 8.8 per cent compared to the previous August.

*Prior to the pandemic and oil price crash, petroleum and coal products was Alberta’s largest manufacturing sub-sector.

After three monthly increases, seasonally adjusted sales contracted by 1.3 per cent in August

After three monthly increases, seasonally adjusted sales contracted by 1.3 per cent in August


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