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Wholesale trade still strong

Wholesale trade still strong

Posted on: 11/21/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team


The sale of goods to businesses, institutions and governments reached $6.9 billion in September. Although September’s total marks a decline of 0.4 per cent from August, sales were up 5.2 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

Alberta’s largest wholesaler—machinery, equipment, and supplies—saw sales fall by 2.9 per cent over the course of the month. The sale of machinery, equipment and supplies is tied to Alberta’s energy sector. With falling Canadian oil prices in September, it’s likely this is why sales in this category dropped. Other notable sales losses were in miscellaneous goods (-5.2 per cent), which includes recyclable materials, paper, paper products and disposable plastic products.

Despite the month-to-month decline, there was growth in three out of seven wholesale sub-sectors between August and September. Motor vehicle and parts sales moved the highest and gained 6.9 per cent. Sales of farm products and building materials and supplies also rose by 5.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively.

Wholesale trade can be a barometer for future retail conditions and the economy in general. Since sales in every wholesale sub-sector are up, and in some cases, up significantly from where they were last year, the latest wholesale numbers confirm that Alberta’s economy has improved from where it was a year ago.

wholesale trade, graph​​

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