February 9 Economic Briefing


February 9 Economic Briefing

Posted on Friday February 16, 2018 at 02:00PM

Welcome to the latest Economic briefing, in order to aid you and your industry in your decision making process when it comes to developing in Alberta's Industrial Heartland, and Alberta in general. The full economic report, with charts and related news links, is also available for download from the Alberta Treasury Board and Finance

Economic Activity
The Alberta Activity Index (AAX) was up 3.7% year-over-year (y/y) in November and is up 5.2% year-to-date. Alberta’s
real GDP by expenditure fell by 3.7% in 2016, the largest drop among the provinces for the second year in a row.


Alberta’s population was 4,306,039 as of October 1, 2017, an increase of 1.3% from the year prior. Canada’s population grew 1.3% from a year ago.

Net migration to Alberta was 11,106 in the third quarter of 2017. During this time, Alberta welcomed 10,363 net international migrants, while there was a net inflow of interprovincial migrants (+743) for the first time in eight quarters.

The economy lost 5,900 jobs in January, as declines in part-time positions offset gains in full-time. Despite the monthly drop, employment rose 2.0%  y/y, reflecting employment gains in both the goods (+6.0% y/y) and services
(+0.7% y/y) sectors.

Unemployment Rate

Alberta’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.0% in January. Canada’s unemployment rate ticked up 0.1
percentage points to 5.9%.

Rigs Drilling
The number of active rigs in Alberta averaged 197 in January, down 0.9% y/y. The average rig utilization rate was 47%, up from 44% a year ago.

The Alberta Consumer Price Index (CPI) dipped by 0.5 percentage points to 2.0% y/y in December and is reflective of broad based price declines. Excluding food and energy prices, core inflation also fell by 0.3 percentage points to 1.1% y/y.

Average Weekly Earnings

Average weekly earnings (AWE) in Alberta ticked up by 0.3% m/m in November to $1,144. Earnings increased 2.5% y/y as gains in services sector earnings more than offset declines in the goods sector.

Retail Sales
Alberta retail sales fell 0.3% m/m to $6.8 billion in November. Retail sales are up 7.4% y/y, the twelfth consecutive month
of year-over-year gains.

Housing Starts
Alberta housing starts increased 8.8% m/m in January to 25,365 units (annualized). Housing starts were up 36% y/y, with gains in both multi-family (+73% y/y) and single-family starts (+17% y/y).

New Housing Price Index
In December, Alberta’s New Housing Price Index (NHPI) ticked up by 0.1% y/y. The house-only component was unchanged,
while land prices were up (+0.3% y/y).

Building Permits 
Alberta building permits were up 36% y/y in December to $1.1 billion, led by residential permits (+63% y/y). Non-residential permits (+1.9% y/y) was also higher than a year ago.

Author: Lamont County Now


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