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Consumers fuelling Alberta's economic recovery

Consumers fuelling Alberta's economic recovery

Posted on: 8/22/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​Alberta retail sales stayed near record levels in June and continued to hover around the $7 billion mark. It's another sign that consumers in our province have faith in the economic recovery taking place.

Even though retail fell for the first time in five months, sales from shopping malls and gas stations were only 1.2 per cent off the record high achieved in May. June’s total was the second highest this year and sales were 1.3 per cent higher than where they were 12 months ago.

Although consumers are spending money at near record levels, they may be buying fewer items. Price inflation in the province is on the rise, and some items are becoming more expensive. When we dig a bit deeper, some retailers may be struggling, too. Over the course of Alberta’s economic recovery, retailers have had to deal with higher wage costs as well as a low Canadian dollar. This has made goods more expensive and is part of the reason why the province’s inflation rate has ticked higher.

Despite rising prices, Albertans continue to fill their shopping carts and gas tanks. The latest retail sales numbers confirm that Alberta’s economy is growing and Albertans are playing an integral role in helping fuel that growth.

AB Retail sales, graph

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