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Vehicle sales not reaching top speed

Vehicle sales not reaching top speed

Posted on: 11/20/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​Buying a new vehicle is a big purchase. So, tracking vehicle sales is a great way to tell if the economy is growing or not. In Alberta, the latest car and truck sales numbers show that economic growth may be stalling.

In September, 21,323 cars, trucks and SUVs were sold in our province (ringing in at $994 million). While the number of vehicles sold was up 0.45 per cent from August to September, the number of vehicles sold was down about 6.3 per cent from 12 months earlier.

Compared to September 2017, the overall decrease in spending at Alberta dealerships was likely the result of a few factors. First, in September, nearly 3,000 jobs were lost in the province. Rising prices and more expensive lending (higher interest rates), may have also placed the purchase of a new vehicle on the back burner for many families. It looks like for some Albertans, consumer confidence has begun to wane.

In 2019, it’s likely that sales of cars and trucks will flatten even more. Even though the labour market stands in a better position than it did a year ago, our province isn’t expected to experience significant job increases--especially as Alberta crude oil trades at a considerable discount to its North American cousin, West Texas Intermediate.

​​ New vehicle sales, graph

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