Economic activity index in Alberta holds steady

Refinery outages weighed on manufacturing shipments, while retail sales pulled back

Mario ToneguzziThe Alberta Activity Index held steady in April after rising to a 38-month high in March, says a report released recently by the provincial government.

The index closely tracks economic activity using a weighted average of nine monthly indicators. It was updated on June 29.

“Refinery outages weighed on manufacturing shipments, while retail sales pulled back; this just offset strong drilling and housing readings, while the remaining five indicators were effectively unchanged,” said the government.

“Year-over-year growth moderated to 2.3 per cent from 4.4 per cent in January, as oil production was the sole indicator to record an improved 12-month growth rate. The AAX continues to reflect the economic recovery in the province, having regained over three-quarters of peak-to-trough losses.”

The index was developed by the Alberta Treasury Board and Alberta Finance. The nine monthly indicators are: employment, average weekly earnings, retail trade, wholesale trade, manufacturing shipments, new truck sales, housing starts, rigs drilling and oil production.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

Alberta affected economicThe views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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