Nothing Unusual to Report
The manufacturing sector across the country – in particular the aerospace industry which is primarily located in central Canada – is in the midst of a period of significant ups and downs but manufacturers here in Saskatchewan seem to be travelling a period of relative stability.
Those are the primary findings of the monthly update on the manufacturing sector prepared by StatsCanada.
Many had been expecting to see some growth in this segment as a result of the falling Canadian dollar which is making us more competitive on the global scene. But it actually might just be a buffer that is offsetting declines resulting from falling oil prices and activity in the oil patch in general.
Saskatchewan manufacturers saw revenues of $1.2 billion in July. That is on par with seasonally adjusted figures reported for the past six months, suggesting little movement one way or the other.
We have, however, seen a bit of growth in inventories which suggests manufacturers are stockpiling product, a sign that sales orders might be softening a little bit.
The First Red Tick
The economists at BMO Bank of Montreal have separated themselves from the pack with a forecast suggesting Saskatchewan’s economy is going to shrink this year.
This is the first report with a red figure for GDP growth in the province. And, while it is just barely in the red – one-tenth of one percentage point – it is noteworthy because it is the one outlier showing the province’s economy will contract in 2015. It also says Alberta will shrink – one full percentage point – and Newfoundland will see nearly a two-percent decline.
The bank’s economists go on to suggest that next year will be much stronger with expansion of two full percent which puts us in the middle of the pack, ahead of Alberta and everyone east of Ontario.
Inflation in Saskatchewan will be at the low end of the scale next year but job creation is going to continue this year and next, despite the slowdown. However, unemployment will also rise suggesting the size of the labor pool is going to grow which means we should expect people to continue moving here, adding to our population.
We’re Worth It
The squishy stock market and strong real estate environment in many parts of the country are showing up on our personal balance sheets.
The balance sheet is one of the most basic financial measures any of us can use to test our worth. It’s also the same for businesses or even countries. And we now have a national report on the balance sheets – sometimes called net worth – of the country and how that looks when we divide it up on a per capita basis.
These data look at the first quarter of the year so they’re a few months old but they provide a snapshot of how we’re faring in a slowing economy. In simple terms, our net worth is going up because of strong real estate values but going down because of the declining stock market or investments and rising debt levels.
When you average those out, we moved backward ever so slightly in Q1, yet, before any alarm bells ring we’re still better off than we were even just two years ago.
Paul Martin You’ve heard him on the radio, seen him on TV and read him in newspapers and magazines. Paul is a popular keynote speaker on topics ranging from the economy to tapping community potential. His unique blend of communication and business knowledge has made him a highly sought-after consultant. As the Chair of Martin Charlton Communications, Paul is MCC’s ‘go to’ guy for all things business in Saskatchewan. He is the chair of four Saskatchewan branches of TEC (The Executive Committee) – a global organization dedicated to improving the performance and enhancing the lives of CEOs – which has over 50 CEOs and senior executives among its Saskatchewan members. The long and short: Paul knows the province’s corporate community and business economy like few others. He is a potent conduit for anyone looking to do business in Saskatchewan, Canada’s fastest growing economy. His strategic advice is unrivalled.