In another sign that Alberta’s economy was heating up this past spring, the amount of money spent on meals and beverages hit a record high!
In April, Albertans racked up nearly $641 million in sales at restaurants and drinking establishments. That’s an increase of 0.9 per cent over the previous month and compared to April of 2011, receipts are up a whopping 8.0 per cent. Annual price inflation at restaurants and bars in the province was only 1.4 per cent and Alberta’s population growth was 2.4 per cent. Removing these inflation and population growth factors means overall real
spending is up 4.2 per cent.
Statistics Canada identifies four types of food and drink establishments: full-service restaurants, the limited-service
restaurant (i.e. fast food), drinking places and the special food services sector, which includes food service contractors, caterers and mobile food services.
Another telling statistic is the amount of dollars per person spent at restaurants and bars. Albertans spent on average $166.51 per capita in April. That’s 32 per cent greater than the national average of $125.74 per capita.
The amount Albertans spend on meals out is a good reflection of their disposable income. However, it can also represent changing lifestyles as busy schedules make eating out more of a necessity than a luxury.*
* Todd Hirsch, Senior Economist, ATB Financial