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Alberta’s manufacturing sales on the rise

Alberta’s manufacturing sales on the rise

Posted on: 7/18/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​After finally surpassing their pre-recession peak in October 2018 only to falter during the last two months of the year, seasonally-adjusted manufacturing sales in Alberta have increased five months in a row to start 2019.

Although this does not take into account the effects of inflation, sales in May reached a record of $7 billion, rising by 2.2 per cent compared to April. On a year-over-year basis, sales were up an impressive 11.0 per cent.

Nationally, sales were up 1.6 per cent in May and by 3.0 per cent year-over-year. Alberta accounted for 11.9 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing sales in May.

The two largest manufacturing sub-sectors in Alberta—petroleum and coal product manufacturing and chemicals—both performed well in May, growing by 3.8 per cent and 7.0 per cent, respectively. Primary metal manufacturing posted the highest monthly increase at 18.7 per cent but was down 2.1 per cent compared to the previous May.

Machinery manufacturing (-7.0 per cent), food manufacturing (-1.9 per cent), printing (-1.5 per cent) and wood product manufacturing (-0.6 per cent) were all down in May. Wood product sales were down the most on a year-over-year basis at -25.9 per cent.

The overall growth in manufacturing sales is a welcome sign in general and especially given the lukewarm pace of economic growth forecast for Alberta this year.

Manufacturing July 2019, graph

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