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April 23, 2012
CALGARY, AB, Apr. 23, 2012/ Troy Media/ – The level of retail sales in shopping malls and big-box retailers give an excellent indicator of the general health of the economy. But how much those same retailers are stocking on their shelves gives another indication about how optimistic they are about future sales.
After having fallen for three consecutive months, the value of wholesale trade in Alberta rebounded slightly in February, rising to $6.329 billion. Compared to January, this represents an increase of 0.7 per cent, and 17.0 per cent year-over-year. The figures are adjusted to account for predictable seasonal variation.
Nationally, wholesale activity notched up 1.6 per cent in February to $48.5 billion, which followed a 1.1 per cent decline in January. Higher sales were reported in most subsectors, four of which accounted for about 90 per cent of the national growth. Adjusting for inflation, the volume of sales nationally was up 2.2 per cent in February.
Higher wholesale activity in Alberta is welcomed news, particularly since another drop would have suggested a four month downward trend. The softer wholesale activity in the months prior to February was more likely an adjustment period for retailers, who may have found a bit more product remaining on their shelves than they had expected.
Nonetheless, the longer-term trend over the past two years continues to show rising wholesale activity. Sales over the last twelve months are still higher by 15 per cent over the previous twelve months. A lot of the increased activity is clearly related to the jump in investment spending, but Alberta retailers are also stocking shelves with the anticipation that the shoppers in this province will be buying this spring.
| ATB Financial
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