indicatorThe Owl

Construction and wholesale both down in 2019

Adjusting for inflation, annual spending on the construction of buildings in Alberta was down 12.5% in 2019 while wholesale trade fell by 2.2%.

By ATB Economics 25 February 2020 1 min read

Despite some uptick in November and December, annual spending on the construction of buildings* in Alberta was down in 2019. Adjusting for inflation, spending went from $21.2 billion in 2018 to $18.5 billion, for a drop of 12.5 per cent. 

Compared to 2014 when the economy was booming, spending was down by $9.9 billion or 34.7 per cent.

Inflation-adjusted spending on residential building construction was down by 16.5 per cent on an annual basis compared to 0.5 per cent for commercial buildings and 22.6 per cent for institutional and government buildings. Industrial spending increased by 3.4 per cent.

Alberta’s wholesale sector also had a down year in 2019. Adjusting for inflation, the annual value of wholesale trade in the province was down by 2.2 per cent last year ($1.9 billion) and by 11.1 per cent ($10.1 billion) compared to 2014.

Farm product wholesalers lost the most ground in 2019, with annual sales down by 17.8 per cent (adjusted for inflation). The building materials subsector saw its sales drop by 9.3 per cent while sales in the largest subsector—machinery, equipment and supplies—fell by 0.9 per cent.

Food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers recorded a 0.6 per cent annual increase. The motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and accessories subsector saw its also rise by 0.5 per cent.

*The investment in residential and non-residential building construction represents the spending on the construction of buildings by households, enterprises and governments, excluding the value of land.

Wholesale trade sales in Alberta

Adjusting for inflation, wholesale trade in the province in 2019 was down by 11.1% compared to 2014.

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