TrendLine Saskatchewan - May 2019


INSIDE


  • Saskatchewan Economy
  • Labour Market
  • Consumer
  • International Trade
  • Construction
  • Culture
  • Population
  • Manufacturing Sales
  • TrendLine Report Card

Despite a surging labour market, an impending recovery for the Saskatchewan economy remains elusive in early 2019.

Average year-to-date employment is up and both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed are down. Construction activity remains in decline with both building permits and housing starts dropping.

Construction activity remains in decline with both building permits and housing starts dropping. The consumer shows few signs of returning to the market with retail sales and new motor vehicle sales in decline. However, an increase in restaurant receipts and an increase in new minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses sales, coupled with a slow down in commercial building permits declines could bode well for the future.

Meanwhile, manufacturing sales and wholesale trade are up while international exports posted first quarter declines over the same period in 2018.

Stephen Johnson

MA
Senior Economist

Composite Indicator Actual & Seasonally Adjusted

Key Indicator This Month

Employment

1.8%

Up 10,175 Positions

  Saskatchewan Economy

2019 Saskatchewan GDP Forecast at 1.6%

Bank of Canada Holds Overnight Rate Citing Uncertainty

In 2018, 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 by 0.25 percent to 1.75 per cent on October 24, 2018, the highest rate since December 2008.

However, the Bank of Canada held the rate at this level in April 2019 citing uncertainty stemming from a sudden and unexpected deceleration in GDP growth in the final quarter of 2018 and global economic growth slowing due to ongoing uncertainty related to trade conflicts. The next rate announcement is May 29, 2019.

The Conference Board of Canada forecasts the Provincial economy to post a 1.6 per cent real GDP gain in 2019, following a 0.8 percent increase in 2018.

2019 GDP Gain

1.6%

Conference Board of Canada

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Saskatchewan Economy 2018 2019 (Forecast) Change % Change - - - -
Gross Domestic Product (2007 $M) 60978 61924 - - - -

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  Labour Market

Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.7%

Total average year-to-date employment in Saskatchewan was up 1.8% or 10,175 positions.

Year-to-date employment in April 2019 was up over the same period in 2018 in Agriculture (3650), Utilities (400), Manufacturing (1,900), Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (2,325), Professional, scientific and technical services (1,025), Business, building and other support services (1,500), Educational services (2,675), Health care and social assistance (3,350), Information, culture and recreation (275), Accommodation and food services (2,350), and Other services (1,700).

Year-to-date employment in April 2019 was down in Resource Extraction (-2200), Wholesale and Retail Trade (-4525), Transportation and warehousing (-2350), and Public administration (-625). 

The average year-to-date unemployment rate dropped from 6.4% in April 2018, to 5.7% in April 2019. Year-to-date, the average number of unemployed is down from 38,200 in April 2018 to 34,575 in April 2019 with the majority of these being absorbed into the employed labour force.

Employment

1.8%

10,175 positions in April 2019

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Labour Market Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change
Employment 558300 572500 559225 569400 - -
Unemployment Rate (%) 7.1 6.1 6.4 5.7 - -

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  Consumer

Auto Sales Down 31.5% while Trucks, Vans & SUVs Surge Up 6.1%

Year-to-date retail trade is down by -2.3% over the same period in 2018.

Sub sectors that posted increases were: Used car dealers (8.9%), Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (1.7%), Grocery stores (11.0%), Beer, wine and liquor stores (1.0%), and All other (1.0%).

During the same time period, New car dealers (-10.1%), Gasoline stations (-2.7%), Furniture and home furnishings stores (-11.5%), Electronics and appliance stores (-38.2%), Health and personal care stores (-3.1%), Clothing and clothing accessories stores (-4.4%), Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-0.1%), and General merchandise stores (-0.4%) posted declines.

February 2019 year-to-date wholesale trade was up 9.7% over the same period in 2018. Farm product merchant wholesalers (2.1%) and Food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers (0.8%) all posted increases while Machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (-2.4%) and Building material and supplies merchant wholesalers (-5.0%) saw declines.

February 2019 year-to-date new motor vehicle sales were down -0.4% from February year-to-date 2018. New minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses sales were up 6.1% while New passenger cars sales were down -31.5%.

February 2019 year-to-date restaurant receipts were up 2.3% over the same period in 2018. Within restaurant receipts, Full-service restaurants (3.3%) and Limited-service eating places (3.5%) increased. At the same time, declines were noted in Special food services (-6.7%) and Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) (-7.7%).

Consumer Price Index

1.3%

Year-to-Date 2019

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Consumer Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change
Consumer Price Index (2002=100) 136.8 139.2 136.6 138.4 - -
Retail Trade Total ($000s) 1302525 1279874 2687297 2626117 - -
New Motor Vehicle Sales (units) 3000 3211 6429 6401 - -
Wholesale Trade ($000s) 1530790 1769092 3157391 3462721 - -
Restaurant Receipts ($000s) 136564 138006 277853 284286 - -

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  International Trade

Metal, Mineral Products Post Increases While Energy, Forestry Products Decline

Total International merchandise exports were down -4.1% year-to-date March 2019 over March 2018.

Sub sectors that posted increases were: Metal ores and non-metallic minerals (20.3%), Metal and non-metallic mineral products (58.2%), Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (5.2%), Industrial machinery, equipment and parts (8.8%), Motor vehicles and parts (1.4%), Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (17.2%), Consumer goods (47.4%), and Special transactions (10.5%). 

Sub sectors that posted decreases were: Farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-4.3%), Energy products (-25.2%), Forestry products and building and packaging materials (-15.4%), and Electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-16.1%).

Merchandise Exports

-4.1%

Year-to-Date Decline

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
International Trade Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change
International Trade Domestic Exports ($000s) 2612034 2636276 7279635 6981450 - -
International Trade Imports ($000s) 1117586 1208946 2996689 3231377 - -
Net International Merchandise Trade ($000s) 1494448 1427330 4282946 3750073 - -

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  Construction

Construction Employment Continues Its Decline

April 2019 year-to-date housing starts down 452 units or -52.0%.

Year-to-date increases were observed in semi-detached (5 units or 15.2%). Year-to-date declines were noted in singles (-102 units or -33.1%), row (-11 units or -10.8%), and apartment and other types (-344 units or -80.8%).

March 2019 year-to-date building permits are down -12.5% over the same period in 2018. Sub sectors that posted increases were limited to industrial (30.3%). During the same time period, residential (-26.2%), commercial (-2%), and institutional and governmental (-17.1%) posted declines.

After a weak performance in 2017, construction employment continued to decline in 2018 and in the first 3 months of 2019. Year-to-date April construction employment was down by 1,225 positions from the same period in 2018 with widespread weakness across the bulk of the construction sector.

Building Permits

-12.5%

March 2019 Year-to-Date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Construction Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change
Housing Starts Total (Units) 140 104 869 417 - -
Building Permits Total ($000s) 136491 120422 334768 292890 - -
Building Permits Residential ($000s) 67761 31592 153041 113015 - -
Building Permits Non-Residential ($000s) 68730 88830 181727 179875 - -

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  Culture

Culture Employment Gains, Retail Trade Declines

Year-to-date employment in April 2019 was up over the same period in 2018 in culture and recreation (275).

February 2019 year-to-date retail trade is down by -2.3% over the same period in 2018. Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-0.1%) posted a decline.

Culture & Recreation Employment

275

Positions

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  Population

Modest Population Increase Year Over Year

2019 Q1 Provincial population was up 1% over 2018 Q1 on the strength of international in-migration.

This can be expected to continue through 2019 with a recovering labour market.

Population

1,168,423

1% Increase Over Q1 2018

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Population 2018 Q1 2019 Q1 Change % Change - - - -
Population (persons) 1156964 1168423 - - - -

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  Manufacturing Sales

Manufacturing Sales Up 2% Year to Date

Saskatchewan manufacturing sub sectors that posted increases were:

  • Food manufacturing sales (24.7%)
  • Fabricated metal product manufacturing sales (5.6%)

Sub sectors that posted decreases were:

  • Chemical manufacturing sales (-11.0%)
  • Machinery manufacturing sales (-6.5%)
  • All other Manufacturing sales (-2.8%)  

Food Manufacturing Sales

24.7%

February 2019 Year-to-Date

Machinery Manufacturing Sales

-6.5%

February 2019 Year-to-Date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Manufacturing Sales Feb 2018 Feb 2019 Change % Change Feb 2018 Feb 2019 Change % Change
Manufacturing Sales Total ($000s) 1397131 1383267 3004741 3065014 - -

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  TrendLine Report Card - May 2019

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Saskatchewan Economy 2018 2019 (Forecast) Change % Change - - - -
Gross Domestic Product (2007 $M) 60978 61924 - - - -
Labour Market Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change
Employment 558300 572500 559225 569400 - -
Unemployment Rate (%) 7.1 6.1 6.4 5.7 - -
Consumer Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change
Consumer Price Index (2002=100) 136.8 139.2 136.6 138.4 - -
Retail Trade Total ($000s) 1302525 1279874 2687297 2626117 - -
New Motor Vehicle Sales (units) 3000 3211 6429 6401 - -
Wholesale Trade ($000s) 1530790 1769092 3157391 3462721 - -
Restaurant Receipts ($000s) 136564 138006 277853 284286 - -
International Trade Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change Mar 2018 Mar 2019 Change % Change
International Trade Domestic Exports ($000s) 2612034 2636276 7279635 6981450 - -
International Trade Imports ($000s) 1117586 1208946 2996689 3231377 - -
Net International Merchandise Trade ($000s) 1494448 1427330 4282946 3750073 - -
Construction Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change Apr 2018 Apr 2019 Change % Change
Housing Starts Total (Units) 140 104 869 417 - -
Building Permits Total ($000s) 136491 120422 334768 292890 - -
Building Permits Residential ($000s) 67761 31592 153041 113015 - -
Building Permits Non-Residential ($000s) 68730 88830 181727 179875 - -
Culture Change % Change Change % Change
Population 2018 Q1 2019 Q1 Change % Change - - - -
Population (persons) 1156964 1168423 - - - -
Manufacturing Sales Feb 2018 Feb 2019 Change % Change Feb 2018 Feb 2019 Change % Change
Manufacturing Sales Total ($000s) 1397131 1383267 3004741 3065014 - -

Sources: Statistics Canada Tables 14-10-0017-01, 34-10-0143-01, 14-10-0355-01, 18-10-0004-01, 34-10-0066-01, 17-10-0005-01, 17-10-0008-01, 20-10-0008- 01, 16-10-0048-01, 20-10-0001-01, 21-10-0019-01, 12-10-0012-01 and Conference Board of Canada Metropolitan Outlook Winter 2019. Note: All data presented above is raw/not seasonally adjusted.

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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.