Vehicle sales stalled in Alberta: report

A slow economy continues to dampen the number of new vehicles being sold in Alberta, an ATB Financial report confirms.

The seasonally adjusted number of new vehicles purchased in Alberta was down by 6.1 per cent in September compared to a year earlier. This follows a year-over-year decline of 5.8 per cent in August.

The number of new vehicles sold in Alberta over the first nine months of the year was down by 11,124 compared to the same period last year. In fact, adjusted sales have been falling every month since August 2018.

The seasonally adjusted dollar value of new vehicle sales in Alberta was off by 3.6 per cent in September compared to a year earlier and was $184 million lower over the first nine months of the year than it was over the first nine months of 2018.

The situation was not much better on a national scale, with the adjusted number of vehicles sold in September down by 4.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis—the 13th decline in a row. The dollar value of sales at the national level was down by $138 million over the first nine months of the year.

Depressed new vehicle sales are not just a sign that people are making do without new vehicles, they also suggest businesses need fewer vehicles and that consumer confidence is on the wane. Both factors point to underlying weakness in the economy, the ATB report states.

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