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March 14, 2012
CALGARY, AB, Mar. 14, 2012, Troy Media/ – Shopping for a new car or truck is an activity usually associated with rising consumer confidence and optimism in the economy. If that’s the case, Albertans are feeling better about their job and wage opportunities than they have at any other point since the beginning of the downturn in 2008.
In January, 21,054 new motor vehicles rolled out of the showrooms in Alberta (seasonally adjusted figure). That’s a whopping 16.3 per cent increase from December, which had fallen off considerably. Compared to a year previous, car and truck sales are up 23.2 per cent.
Nationally, new motor vehicle sales also had a banner month in January, rising 15.4 per cent over February. One of the reasons given by Statistics Canada for the sudden increase was the resumption of supply for certain models of passenger cars, which had experienced disruptions late in 2011.
With January’s gain, Alberta is now approaching the record-setting highs set prior to the recession. The graph shows the sudden drop-off in unit sales in late-2008, and the long and gradual return leading up to 2012. Other factors helping to push sales higher include a rising population and perhaps some pent-up demand as older cars and trucks eventually need to be replaced. Purchase of fleet cars by companies may have also played a part, as they tend to be leased or purchased in large quantities.
Whatever factors are at play with rising motor vehicle sales, the strong economy is clearly boosting consumer and business confidence in Alberta.
| ATB Financial
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