Monthly new vehicle sales in Alberta were down 0.9 per cent in May, the 12th straight month of declines, according to ATB Financial’s economics and research team.
April’s drop was 0.5 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, sales in May were off by 8.1 per cent. Nationally, year-over-year sales fell by 6.5 per cent.
“New vehicle sales are yet to catch-up to where they were before the downturn. The number of new cars and trucks sold in Alberta was 15.0 per cent lower in May 2019 than in May 2014, before the recession took hold,” said ATB in its daily economic update The Owl.
“The total value of new vehicles sold in May was also down. Sales in May 2019 totalled $1.05 billion compared to $1.15 billion the previous May for a drop of 9.2 per cent.”
ATB said the number of passenger cars sold in May was down 17.9 per cent compared to a year ago, while the number of trucks sold was off by 5.9 per cent. The truck category includes minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses.
“In other words, there were about 5.2 minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses sold for every passenger car sold in May,” said the financial institution.
“New vehicle sales are only a rough gauge of economic performance but they do give us a sense of the overall state of an economy. While not in recession, the Alberta economy is barely growing and this is reflected in the downward trend in new vehicles sales over the last year.”