It hasn’t been a good summer for the United States. July was consumed by political bickering over the deficit, August saw a credit downgrade, and markets convulsed. Jobs in America are still hard to come by, and GDP growth is slowing at an alarming rate. So where does this leave the Canadian economy, which is so heavily dependant on exports to the US?
Heading into the summer of 2011, consumers in Alberta must have been feeling particularly confident about their jobs and future income prospects—at least judging by the number of cars and trucks rolling out of the showrooms.
Adjusted for seasonality, Alberta car and truck buyers snapped up 19,927 new vehicles in June. That’s a large jump (+10.9%) from the previous month, and up more than 17% from a year ago. Vehicle sales in the province had been a bit weak for some time, so June’s surge may represent some pent-up demand in the market.
The enthusiasm for new vehicles was reflected in the national numbers as well. Sales jumped 10.8% in June to 141,882 units, more than making up for the losses reported in the previous two months.
With the jump in sales in June, Alberta takes back the #1 spot in terms of vehicle sales per capita. In June, there were 53 new cars and trucks sold for every 10,000 people in the province. For much of the past year or two, the distinction of most sales per capita had gone to Newfoundland and Labrador, another province which has been experiencing strong income growth and surging consumer confidence (some of that due to offshore oil projects as well as Newfoundlanders working in Alberta’s oilsands).
Nationally, there were just over 41 new cars and trucks sold for every 10,000 people in June, up from 38 vehicles in June of 2010.
The past week has been—as the kids say these days--epic.
According to one on-line dictionary of current urban language usage, the word “epic” now means: awesome, legendary, failure, amazing, stupid, cool, sweet, great, lol, sick, funny, crazy. Oddly, all of these seemingly unrelated words could be used in some context to descript global markets this week.