Shoppers in Alberta rang up a record $6.26 billion in purchases last November (adjusted for seasonality)— an increase of 0.6 per cent from October’s total. Over the last twelve months, total retail sales are up 6.2 per cent from the preceding twelve-month period.
According to Statistics Canada, retail sales also climbed 0.6 per cent nationally month-over-month, the fourth increase in the last five months. The consensus among economists was for an increase of only 0.2 per cent. Interestingly, the federal agency notes weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday.
“(The) increase was largely attributable to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as electronics and appliance stores,” states this morning’s release. “Gains were observed in 9 of 11 subsectors, accounting for 72 per cent of retail trade.”
Alberta’s 6.2 per cent annual pace is partially attributed to close to 3 per cent population growth in the province, plus average annual price increases of 1 to 1.5 per cent. But consumer confidence in the province is still strongly reflected by rising sales. A younger-than-average population, rising wages, excellent job opportunities and optimism about future income prospects has many Albertans opening their wallets.*
* Courtesy of Todd Hirsch • Chief Economist, ATB Financial