Wholesale retreated in December but was still elevated in 2021
Sales in Alberta in 2021 reached $87.9 billion, up by $11 billion (+14.4%) from 2020
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 24 February 2022 1 min read
After four months of growth, wholesale activity in Alberta contracted during the last month of the year. Seasonally adjusted revenues stood at $7.7 billion in December, down $469 million (-5.7%) from November.
Sales in the building material and supplies category and the machinery, equipment and supplies category took a step back after solid increases in November and drove the majority of the overall decline in December.
On an unadjusted basis, revenues for the full year amounted to $87.9 billion, up by $11 billion (+14.4%) from 2020 and $6.9 billion (+8.6%) from 2019. With an over 30% year-over-year increase, the building material and supplies category was the biggest contributor to both Alberta’s and Canada’s annual growth in wholesale trade in 2021.
The value of sales also received a boost from higher average wholesale prices in Canada last year, led by a 50% rise in the price of lumber and other sawmill products.
Nationally, annual wholesale revenues stood at $862.6 billion in 2021, up by $108.5 billion (+14.4%) from 2020 and by 13.2% compared to 2019. Every province posted gains, with over two-thirds of the increase coming from central Canada.
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