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Like many sectors in our province, Alberta’s manufacturing sector has had to deal with the effects of two years of recession. However, new data confirms that they’re starting 2017 on some sturdy footing.
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ATB Financial's Economics & Research Team February 15, 2017
Manufacturing set to take-off this year
Like many sectors in our province, Alberta’s manufacturing sector has had to deal with the effects of two years of recession. However, new data confirms that they’re starting 2017 on some sturdy footing.
 
The most recent manufacturing report shows that total shipments grew to over $5.6 billion last December, an increase of 3.6 per cent from November. Throughout 2016, total manufacturing shipments had been down when compared to the previous year, but this trend reversed in December. That month, shipments were eight per cent higher than the same month a year earlier and reached the highest total in 16 months.
 
Alberta’s petroleum and coal product manufacturing was the star of the show in December as this subsector regained the number one spot within manufacturing. Sales in petroleum and coal products ($1.33 billion) grew 16.4 per cent from November and were up nearly 33.4 per cent from last December. The large increases can be attributed to higher volumes at several refineries that resumed production following maintenance and retooling work in September and October as well as a slight increase in energy prices.
 
There were gains in other sectors, too. Sales from Alberta’s beverage and tobacco manufacturers grew 7.6 per cent, transportation and equipment manufacturing also grew 4.8 per cent from November and sales from chemical manufacturers increased three per cent. Food manufacturing remained virtually unchanged from the month before.
 
All in all, the most recent manufacturing report shows that manufacturing could finally see some much-needed growth this year. Of course, the low loonie will also benefit our exporters and help keep our goods competitive globally and a general improvement in economic conditions will prove beneficial, too.
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