TrendLine Saskatchewan - January 2019

Average year-to-date employment and restaurant receipts are up and the unemployment rate is down.

Housing starts, building permits, and new motor vehicle sales are down while manufacturing sales, exports, wholesale trade, restaurant receipts, and retail trade are up, with percentage increases in retail trade at 0.1% lagging well behind the rate of inflation.

Stephen Johnson

MA
Senior Economist

Composite Indicator Actual & Seasonally Adjusted

Key Indicator This Month

Employment

569,967

Up 0.4% Year to Date

Dashboard

TrendLine January 2019
TrendLine January 2019

In Detail

The Saskatchewan economy continues to show varied results in the last quarter of 2018…

Average year-to-date employment and restaurant receipts are up and the unemployment rate is down. Housing starts, building permits, and new motor vehicle sales are down while manufacturing sales, exports, wholesale trade, restaurant receipts, and retail trade are up, with percentage increases in retail trade at 0.1% lagging well behind the rate of inflation.

  • Benefitting from a year-over-year increase of 10,900 positions, total average year-to-date employment in Saskatchewan was up 0.4% or 2,367 positions in January to December 2018 over the same period in 2017
  • Year-to-date employment in December 2018 was up over the same period in 2017 in Agriculture (225), Utilities (142), Manufacturing (117), Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (1,317), Business, building and other support services (1,508), Educational services (2,075), Health care and social assistance (2,242), Accommodation and food services (1,000), Other services (1,667), and Public administration (1,167) 
  • Year-to-date employment in December 2018 was down in Resource Extraction (-325), Construction (-1258), Wholesale and Retail Trade (-2842), Transportation and warehousing (-242), Professional, scientific and technical services (-3967), and Information, culture and recreation (-483)
  • After a weak performance in 2017, construction employment continued to decline in 2018. Year-to-date December construction employment was down by 1,258 positions from the same period in 2017 with weakening residential and non-residential construction
  • The average year-to-date unemployment rate dropped from to 6.3% in December 2017, to 6.2% in December 2018. Year-to-date, the average number of unemployed is down from 37,967 in December 2017 to 37,350 in December 2018 on the strength of surging employment growth
  • December 2018, total year-to-date housing starts are down by -1,173 units or -28.2%. Year-to-date declines were noted in all categories of starts: singles (-715 units or -36.7%), semi-detached (-148 units or -47.3%), row (-229 units or -41.0%), and apartment and other types (-81 units or -6.1%)
  • December 2018 year to date building permits are down -23.7% over the same period in 2017. Sub sectors that posted increases were limited to: industrial (5.8%). During the same time period residential (-32.5%), commercial (-11.3%), and institutional and governmental (-36.8%) posted declines 
  • October 2018 year to date retail trade is up by 0.1% over the same period in 2017. Sub sectors that posted increases were: Gasoline stations (6.9%), Electronics and appliance stores (6.7%), Health and personal care stores (1.4%), Clothing and clothing accessories stores (0.8%), Grocery stores (1.7%), Beer, wine and liquor stores (11.6%), General merchandise stores (1.1%), and All other (4.0%). During the same time period New car dealers (-6.8%), Used car dealers (-20.5%), Furniture and home furnishings stores (-7.9%), Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-0.6%), and Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-4.1%) posted declines
  • October 2018 year to date manufacturing sales are up by 12.2% over the same period in 2017. Sub sectors that posted increases were: Food manufacturing sales (9.5%), Machinery manufacturing sales (6.0%), Fabricated metal product manufacturing sales (11.0%), and All other Manufacturing sales (22.5%). Sub sectors that posted decreases were confined to Chemical manufacturing sales (-6.0%)
  • October 2018 year to date new motor vehicle sales were down -10.9% from October year to date 2017. Both new passenger cars sales and New minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses sales were down -19.2% and -9.3%, respectively
  • Total International merchandise exports were up 11.1% year to date November 2018 over November 2017. Sub sectors that posted increases were: Energy products (24.4%), Metal ores and non-metallic minerals (23.7%), Metal and non-metallic mineral products (56.8%), Forestry products and building and packaging materials (22.7%), Industrial machinery, equipment and parts (20.9%), and Motor vehicles and parts (8.3%). Sub sectors that posted decreases were: Farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-2.1%), Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (-12.0%), Electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-6.3%), Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-65.2%), Consumer goods (-20.9%), and Special transactions (-0.8%) 
  • October 2018 year to date wholesale trade was up 2.0% over the same period in 2017. Food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers (11.6%), Machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (1.5%), Building material and supplies merchant wholesalers (8.0%), and All other (4.4%) posted increases while Farm product merchant wholesalers (-3.1%), and Agricultural supplies merchant wholesalers (-0.3%) saw declines
  • October 2018 year to date restaurant receipts were up 1.7% over the same period in 2017. Within restaurant receipts Full-service restaurants (3.1%) and Limited-service eating places (2.5%) increased. At the same time, declines were noted in Special food services (-11.4%), and Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) (-2.6%) saw declines 
  • With the pace of GDP growth at the national level suggesting that the economy is operating at close to full capacity, the Bank of Canada raised the overnight rate to 1.75 per cent on October 24, up from 1.5 per cent. This represents the highest rate since December 2008 and more rate increases are likely to follow in 2019 with additional GDP growth stemming from the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement 
  • 2017 Provincial population was up 1.3% over 2016 to 1,163,925 on the strength of international in-migration. This can be expected to continue through 2019 with a recovering labour market 
  • The Conference Board of Canada forecasts the Provincial economy to post a 1.6 per cent real GDP gain in 2019, following an identical 1.6 percent increase in 2018. Average year-to-date employment is slightly up and the unemployment rate is down. Housing starts, building permits, and new motor vehicle sales are down while manufacturing sales, exports, wholesale trade, restaurant receipts, and retail trade are up, with percentage increases in retail trade at 0.1% lagging well behind the rate of inflation

This Issue's Economist:

Stephen Johnson

MA
Senior Economist

This Issue's Editor:

Jennifer Longo

BAH, MBA
Strategic Research Consultant


TrendLine Saskatchewan is published monthly by Praxis Consulting.