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Wholesale activity still strong

Wholesale activity still strong

Posted on: 4/23/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

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Sales of products to businesses, institutions and governments, also known as wholesale trade, continue to perform well in Alberta. Total sales reached $6.8 billion in February. Although this marks a decline of 0.6 per cent from January, sales were up 6.4 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

Despite the month-to-month decline, there was growth in three out of seven wholesale sub-sectors between January and February. Farm product sales advanced the most with a 32.7 per cent gain. Sales of personal and household goods and motor vehicles and parts also rose by 2.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent, respectively.

Alberta’s largest wholesaler—machinery, equipment, and supplies—saw sales fall by 1.5 per cent over the course of the month. Other losses included building materials and supplies (-3.2 per cent) and miscellaneous goods (-1.2 per cent), which includes recyclable materials, paper, paper products and disposable plastic products.

Even though sales slipped from January to February, sales in almost every wholesale sub-sector are up significantly from where they were last year. Farm products are up 87 per cent and building materials and supplies are up 10 per cent from February of last year. Food and beverage wholesalers is the only sector to register a decline over this period (-1.3 per cent).

Wholesale trade is a good barometer for future retail conditions and for the economy in general. The latest wholesale numbers confirm Albertans and Alberta-based businesses are doing their part to fuel the province’s economic recovery.

Wholesale sales, graph

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