A recent report from the Conference Board of Canada offers good news for Calgary retailers hurt by the economic slowdown.
Following last year’s seven per cent sales increase to $27.2 billion, the board predicts that this year, the local retail sector will slip 0.7 per cent before rebounding with 2.7 per cent growth in 2016.
After this period, sales will grow 3.5 per cent, 3.6 per cent and 4 per cent each year. Ultimately, sales are predicted to reach $30.9 billion in 2019, with this increase tied to an expected rise in oil prices.
“Our call right now is that oil prices will start rising again, gently rising, starting next year, or even late this year, and continue to climb through the forecast,” says Alan Arcand, associate director for the board’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “It’s going to climb somewhere from between the lows of today and the highs of previous years. We don’t expect to get back to the days of $100 per barrel over the mean term but still we think oil prices will climb.”
In recent years, the retail sector has benefited from strong employment, population and personal income growth. CJ