Alberta Economic Briefs This Week



In August 2018 there were 52,300 people receiving regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in Alberta, a decrease of 15,610 people (-23.0 per cent) compared with August 2017. Nationally, Employment Insurance beneficiaries decreased 11.8 per cent year-over-year.


On a year-over-year basis, Albertans paid 3.0 pr cent more in September 2018 for the goods and services that comprise the Consumer Price Index (CPI) than in the same month a year ago, which was slightly higher than the national average rise in CPI of 2.2 per cent. Energy prices increased the most in Alberta (+21.7 per cent). Recreation and education had the smallest increase, rising by one per cent.


In August 2018, the value of Alberta's manufacturing sales increased 12.4 per cent compared with August 2017, to $6.59 billion. Nationally, manufacturing shipments increased 6.0 per cent over the same period to $56.96 billion. In Alberta, every industry saw growth, with petroleum and coal products increasing by 31.8 per cent.


Alberta's retail trade value increased by 3.2 per cent to $6.88 billion in August 2018, compared to August 2017. Nationally, retail sales increased by 3.6 per cent over the same time frame. In Alberta, gasoline stations (+22.7 per cent) and building material sales (+4.5 per cent) saw the largest increases. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music (-5.2 per cent) had the largest decrease.


The dollar volume of homes sold in Alberta through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) decreased 9.4 per cent to $1.68 billion in September 2018 compared to the same time period a year earlier. Nationally, total sales values were down 8.7 per cent, with British Columbia posting the largest decrease (-33.9 per cent). Quebec saw the largest year over year increase in sales volume, increasing 13.6 per cent to $1.93 billion. In Alberta, Grande Prairie (+28.8 per cent) and Fort McMurray (+27.3 per cent) were the only municipalities to see a year-over-year increase, while Lethbridge had the largest drop year-over-year in the province (-22.3 per cent).


The number of new motor vehicles sold in Alberta decreased by 4.8 per cent between August 2017 and August 2018 to 21,228, while the number of motor vehicles sold in Canada decreased by 1.1 per cent over the same period. Sales of passenger vehicles decreased 27.3 per cent year-over-year, while sales of trucks (including minivans, SUVs, light and heavy trucks, vans, and buses) increased by 0.5 per cent. In August 2018 trucks comprised 85.4 per cent of all vehicle sales.


The price of natural gas in August 2018 was $0.94 CDN per gigajoule, down 45.3 per cent from August 2017.

Posted on:
Monday, October 29, 2018