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Retail sales reach new record

Retail sales reach new record

Posted on: 7/23/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Alberta shoppers spent more than they ever have in May as total retail sales reached a record high. Just short of $7 billion, May’s total was two per cent higher than April and about three per cent higher than one year ago.

In May, Albertans continued to outspend all of their provincial counterparts at malls and gas stations across the country by an average of $242 per month. This difference can be explained by a few factors like a higher employment rate (the percentage of the labour force that is employed) and higher incomes. The difference also highlights the strength of the provincial economy, even after a significant recessionary period.

But, while sales are up annually and Albertans may be getting less bang for their buck. Price inflation in Alberta rose 2.5 per cent in May, suggesting that while shoppers are spending at record levels, they may be getting less.

Even in the face of rising prices, retail sales have continued to recoup all of their losses that they experienced throughout the recession. In fact, sales have been at elevated levels for the past year and a half. Put simply, the latest retail sales numbers are more proof that Alberta’s economy continues to grow.

Retail sales, graph​​​

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