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Manufacturing sales end 2018 on a sour note

Manufacturing sales end 2018 on a sour note

Posted on: 2/14/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​Monthly manufacturing sales in Alberta fell in December, reaching their second lowest point to cap off a bumpy year. According to Statistics Canada, sales from Alberta factory room floors came in at $6.1 billion in the final month of 2018. The December total was 4 per cent lower than November and 11 per cent below October.

With all the 2018 data available, we now have a better picture of how the manufacturing sector faired over the course of last year. Average monthly manufacturing sales in Alberta grew by seven per cent compared to 2017. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean every sub-sector performed well.

Petroleum and coal manufacturing was hardest hit in December, and throughout the year. Sales in this sub-sector fell nearly 15 per cent in December compared to November and are down by close to 12 per cent compared to the beginning of the year. The drop in sales can largely be attributed to a drop in oil prices.

Demand for Alberta-made goods was on the rise throughout last year, but this appears to be changing. Weaker domestic demand and soft oil prices could dampen manufacturing sales over the first quarter of 2019.

Manufacturing, graph

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