TrendLine Saskatchewan - January 2020


INSIDE


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

The consumer remains hesitant, unswayed by a strong labour market...

Despite a surging labour market and population reaching an all-time high, the consumer remains in near hibernation with year-to-date retail sales and new motor vehicle sales dropping. 

Construction activity is virtually dormant with both building permits and housing starts in decline. However, commercial building permits are in recovery and row and apartment housing starts posted impressive gains year over year.

Meanwhile, wholesale trade and restaurant receipts are up, international exports and manufacturing sales are down, and the rate of increase in average weekly earnings is staying slightly ahead of inflation.

Stephen Johnson

MA
Senior Economist

Composite Indicator Actual & Seasonally Adjusted

Key Indicator This Month

Retail trade

0.5%

Year-to-Date

  Saskatchewan Economy

Bank of Canada Holds Overnight Rate Steady

Real GDP forecasted at 1.2% growth in 2020

The Bank of Canada held its overnight rate steady in its January 2020 rate announcement. The Bank noted that there is considerable uncertainty about household spending, household debt and international trade tensions. The result is a softer short-term forecast that could prompt the central bank to cut interest rates if current conditions persist. The next rate announcement is March 4, 2020.

The Conference Board of Canada revised its growth estimate for 2019. According to the latest forecast, the Provincial economy shrank slightly in 2019, following a 1.6 percent increase in 2018. The forecast for 2020 is for 1.2% growth in real GDP.

Real GDP Forecast: 2020

1.2%

Conference Board of Canada

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Saskatchewan Economy 2019 2020 (Forecast) Change % Change - - - -
Gross Domestic Product (2007 $M) 82510 82479 - - - -

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  Labour Market

Year-to-Date Employment up 1.8% in December 2019

Total average year-to-date employment in Saskatchewan was up 1.8% or 10,400 positions in December 2019 over the same period in 2018.

Year-to-date employment in December 2019 was up over the same period in 2018 in Agriculture (2,408), Manufacturing (2,608), Finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (1,175), Professional, scientific and technical services (1,617), Business, building and other support services (525), Educational services (1,908), Health care and social assistance (2,033), Information, culture and recreation (1,550), Accommodation and food services (3,167), Other services (2,433), and Public administration (658).

Year-to-date employment in December 2019 was down in Resource Extraction (-842), Utilities (-683), Construction (-2400), Wholesale and Retail Trade (-3683), and Transportation and warehousing (-2033).

The average year-to-date unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% in December 2018, to 5.4% in December 2019. Year-to-date, the average number of unemployed is down from 37,350 in December 2018 to 33,333 in December 2019. With employment advancing by 10,400 it can be assumed that the majority of the drop in unemployed were absorbed into the employed labour force.

Year-to-date October 2019 average weekly earnings are up 2.3% over October 2018. 

  • Sub sectors that posted increases were: Goods producing industries (3.3%), Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (6.8%), Manufacturing (3.5%), Non-durable goods (4.2%), Durable goods (3.7%), Service producing industries (2.1%), Trade (0.1%), Retail trade (1.5%), Transportation and warehousing (7.1%), Information and cultural industries (2.9%), Real estate and rental and leasing (0.5%), Professional, scientific and technical services (4.7%), Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (5.8%), Educational services (0.1%), Education special (0.4%), Health care and social assistance (5.6%), Arts, entertainment and recreation (1.9%), Accommodation and food services (3.8%), Other services (except public administration) (1.9%), and Public administration (2.3%). 
  • Sub sectors that posted declines were: Construction (-0.8%), Wholesale trade (-1.9%), Finance and insurance (-1.5%), and Management of companies and enterprises (-14.8%). 

*Average wage data by industry can be found in table format under "Available Downloads" at the bottom of the report.

Employment

10,400

Positions (December 2019 Year-to-Date)

Average Weekly Earnings

2.3%

October 2019 Year-to-Date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Labour Market Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Employment 573200 579900 569967 580367 - -
Unemployment Rate (%) 5.4 5.2 6.2 5.4 - -
Average Weekly Earnings ($) 1030 1048 1013 1036 - -

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  Consumer

October 2019 year-to-date retail trade down 0.5% over the same period in 2018

Wholesale trade up 4.0%

October 2019 year-to-date retail trade is down by -0.5% over the same period in 2018. Sub sectors that posted increases were: Used car dealers (25.0%), Gasoline stations (3.6%), Health and personal care stores (2.0%), Grocery stores (2.4%), General merchandise stores (0.6%), and All other (0.8%). During the same time period, New car dealers (-4.4%), Furniture and home furnishings stores (-1.1%), Electronics and appliance stores (-28.8%), Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-3.1%), Clothing and clothing accessories stores (-4.5%), Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-1.7%), and Beer, wine and liquor stores (-2.2%) posted declines.

October 2019 year-to-date new motor vehicle sales were down -2.6% from October 2018. New minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses sales were up 0.5%, while New passenger cars sales were down -15.4%.

October 2019 year-to-date wholesale trade was up 4.0% over the same period in 2018. Farm product merchant wholesalers (6.6%), Building material and supplies merchant wholesalers (0.4%), and All other (449.6%) posted increases, while Food, beverage and tobacco merchant wholesalers (-12.0%) and Machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers (-7.9%) saw declines.

October 2019 year-to-date restaurant receipts were up 1.4% over the same period in 2018. Within restaurant receipts, Special food services (0.05%), Full-service restaurants (2.3%), and Limited-service eating places (2.5%) increased. At the same time, declines were noted in Drinking places (alcoholic beverages) (-14.2%).

Retail Trade

0.5%

October 2019 year-to-date

Wholesale Trade

4.0%

October 2019 year-to-date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Consumer Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change
Consumer Price Index (2002=100) 137.9 140.5 137.5 139.9 - -
Retail Trade Total ($000s) 1639468 1639348 16245350 16156781 - -
New Motor Vehicle Sales (units) 4341 4003 43247 42101 - -
Wholesale Trade ($000s) 2479979 2318421 22324442 23213111 - -
Restaurant Receipts ($000s) 165141 165450 1577794 1600156 - -

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  International Trade

Total International Merchandise Exports Down 4.2% Year-to-Date November 2019

Total International merchandise exports were down -4.2% year-to-date November 2019 over November 2018.

Sub sectors that posted increases were: Metal ores and non-metallic minerals (4.6%), Basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (19.8%), Industrial machinery, equipment and parts (4.2%), Motor vehicles and parts (9.2%), Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (279.2%), Consumer goods (12.2%), and Special transactions (1.9%).

Sub sectors that posted declines were: Farm, fishing and intermediate food products (-4.1%), Energy products (-9.0%), Metal and non-metallic mineral products (-21.8%), Forestry products and building and packaging materials (-21.6%), and Electronic and electrical equipment and parts (-24.6%).

Total International Merchandise Exports

4.2%

November 2019 year-to-date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
International Trade Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change
International Trade Domestic Exports ($000s) 2509441 2387101 28094461 26909431 - -
International Trade Imports ($000s) 848412 964208 10931804 11685596 - -
Net International Merchandise Trade ($000s) 1661029 1422893 17162657 15223835 - -

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  Construction

Year-to-date December Construction Employment Down 4.9%

Construction employment declined throughout 2018 and, with weak housing and residential building permit activity, all through 2019. Year-to-date December construction employment was down by 2,400 positions or -4.9% from the same period in 2018.

December 2019, total year-to-date housing starts are down by -927 units or -31.1%. Year-to-date declines were widespread across all sub-categories: singles (-275 units or -22.3%), semi-detached (-36 units or -21.8%), row (-64 units or -19.4%), and apartment and other types (-552 units or -44.0%).

November 2019 year-to-date building permits are down -8.3% over the same period in 2018. The only sub sector to once again post an increase was commercial (12.0%). During the same time period, residential (-17.0%), industrial (-12.2%), and institutional and governmental (-30.8%) posted declines.

Construction Employment

2,400

Positions (December 2019 year-to-date)

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Construction Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Housing Starts Total (Units) 141 192 2982 2055 - -
Building Permits Total ($000s) 121582 94566 1660007 1521872 - -
Building Permits Residential ($000s) 52564 35311 762966 633496 - -
Building Permits Non-Residential ($000s) 69018 59255 897041 888375 - -

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  Culture

Information, Culture and Recreation Employment Up 7.7%

December 2019 year-to-date Information, culture and recreation employment was up 7.7% or 1,550 positions over the same period in 2018.

Information, Culture & Recreation

1,550

Positions (December 2019 year-to-date)

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Culture Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Employment Information, Culture and Recreation 19100 22600 20192 21742 - -

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  Population

SK Population Reaches Record Breaking High in Q4 2019

2019 Q4 Provincial population was up 1.0% over 2018 Q4 to an all-time high of 1,178,657 on the strength of a historic 5,500 person surge in international in-migration.

Provincial Population

1,178,657

1.0% Increase Over Q4 2018

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Population 2018 Q4 2019 Q4 Change % Change - - - -
Population (persons) 1167295 1178657 - - - -

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  Manufacturing Sales

October 2019 Year-to-Date Manufacturing Sales Down 8.1%

October 2019 year-to-date manufacturing sales are down by -8.1% over the same period in 2018.

Sub sectors that posted increases were: Fabricated metal product manufacturing sales (24.3%).

Sub sectors that posted decreases were: Food manufacturing sales (-0.3%), Machinery manufacturing sales (-10.3%), and All other Manufacturing sales (-13.4%).

Manufacturing Sales

8.1%

October 2019 Year-to-Date

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Manufacturing Sales Oct 2018 Oct 2019 Change % Change Oct 2018 Oct 2019 Change % Change
Manufacturing Sales Total ($000s) 1478900 1392243 15129780 13901272 - -

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  TrendLine Report Card - January 2020

INDICATOR MONTH TO MONTH YEAR TO DATE
Saskatchewan Economy 2019 2020 (Forecast) Change % Change - - - -
Gross Domestic Product (2007 $M) 82510 82479 - - - -
Labour Market Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Employment 573200 579900 569967 580367 - -
Unemployment Rate (%) 5.4 5.2 6.2 5.4 - -
Average Weekly Earnings ($) 1030 1048 1013 1036 - -
Consumer Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change
Consumer Price Index (2002=100) 137.9 140.5 137.5 139.9 - -
Retail Trade Total ($000s) 1639468 1639348 16245350 16156781 - -
New Motor Vehicle Sales (units) 4341 4003 43247 42101 - -
Wholesale Trade ($000s) 2479979 2318421 22324442 23213111 - -
Restaurant Receipts ($000s) 165141 165450 1577794 1600156 - -
International Trade Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change Nov 2018 Nov 2019 Change % Change
International Trade Domestic Exports ($000s) 2509441 2387101 28094461 26909431 - -
International Trade Imports ($000s) 848412 964208 10931804 11685596 - -
Net International Merchandise Trade ($000s) 1661029 1422893 17162657 15223835 - -
Construction Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Housing Starts Total (Units) 141 192 2982 2055 - -
Building Permits Total ($000s) 121582 94566 1660007 1521872 - -
Building Permits Residential ($000s) 52564 35311 762966 633496 - -
Building Permits Non-Residential ($000s) 69018 59255 897041 888375 - -
Culture Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Change % Change
Employment Information, Culture and Recreation 19100 22600 20192 21742 - -
Population 2018 Q4 2019 Q4 Change % Change - - - -
Population (persons) 1167295 1178657 - - - -
Manufacturing Sales Oct 2018 Oct 2019 Change % Change Oct 2018 Oct 2019 Change % Change
Manufacturing Sales Total ($000s) 1478900 1392243 15129780 13901272 - -

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, 12-10-0012-01,14-10-0358-01, and Conference Board of Canada Metropolitan Outlook Autumn 2019. Note: All data presented above is raw/not seasonally adjusted. Some date headings may not apply to every indicator in each sector. Please link to the additional tables for a comprehensive data overview.

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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.