Economic Analysis & Research:

Economic Releases

December Releases Click to open


Foreign Trade

Total Manitoba exports through October were $11.5 billion, a 4.3% increase compared to 2016.

Year-to-date, imports totaled $17.8 billion, a 7.9% increase over last year. As a result, Manitoba’s trade deficit increased by 15.3%.

Exports to the United States fell by 2.0% to $7.4 billion and account for 64.5% of Manitoba’s total exports. US imports increased 8.2% year-to-date, to $13.8 billion.

Non-US exports through October are up 18.1% to $4.1 billion, and Non-US imports are up 6.8% to $4.0 billion, giving Manitoba a small ($50 million) trade surplus with Non-US trading partners.

Building Permits

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of building permits for October is $218.0, an increase of 5.0% from September, and up 9.6% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, Manitoba building permits total $2.37 billion, an increase of 5.2% compared to 2016, placing Manitoba 8th in Canada. Nationally, the value of building permits is up 8.3% year-to-date.

At $149.8 million, Residential Building Permits are up 30.1% from September, and up 14.2% from last October. At $68.2 million, Non-Residential Building Permits are down 26.3% from September but up 0.7% compared to last October.

Average Weekly Earnings

Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in September were $915.54, a 0.2% gain from August, and up 3.2% from last September.

As a result, Manitoba ranks 1st among the provinces for wage growth year-to-date at 2.4%.

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $985.95, up 3.1% from last September, and up 1.7% year-to-date.

Compared to September 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba’s ten largest sectors is generally positive, although Administrative & support services is down 8.0%, and Health care & social assistance is down 0.6%.

The largest increases to average weekly earnings occurred in Transportation & warehousing (15.0%), Finance & insurance (9.1%), Educational services (6.8%), and Manufacturing (5.1%).


November Releases Click to open


Wholesale Trade

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Manitoba's wholesale trade sales totaled $1.63 billion in September 2017, a decrease of 0.3% from August, but up 7.4% year-over-year.

Manitoba ranks 8th in wholesale trade growth year-to-date at 7.2%. Nationally sales are up 9.3% year-to-date. Movement within wholesale categories compared to last September is positive except for Miscellaneous goods (-6.4%). Leading wholesale growth are Farm products (26.4%), Motor vehicles & parts (14.6%), and Food, beverages & tobacco (4.8%).

Retail Trade

At $1.64 billion, Manitoba's seasonally adjusted retail sales in September 2017 are down 1.0% from August, but up 3.2% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 9th among the provinces in retail trade growth at 3.4%. Nationally, retail sales are up 6.8% year-to-date.

Not adjusting for seasonality, retail sales compared to September 2016 are up 3.1%, with sales growth among retail categories quite mixed. Gasoline station sales are up 10.1% compared to last September. Food & beverage store sales are up 9.6%, Electronics & appliance store sales are up 8.9%, and General merchandisers sales are up 8.4%. However, Sporting goods, hobby, book & music store sales have declined (-15.3%), as have Health & personal care store sales (-10.2%), and Motor vehicle & parts dealer sales (-1.7%).

Employment Insurance

On a seasonally adjusted basis, 15,090 Manitobans received regular employment insurance benefits in September, a decrease of 2.2% from the August estimate, and down 3.2% year-over-year.

Nationally, regular beneficiaries dropped by 12.0% from last September.

Interprovincial comparisons of employment insurance demand place Manitoba 7th best; increasing 1.2% year-to-date. Initial claims for September are 4,350 (down 1.6% from last September). Renewal claims for September number 940 (down 13.0% compared to last September). Year-to-date, Initial and Renewal claims growth rank 3rd and 5th best respectively.

Farm Cash Receipts

Nationally, Farm cash receipts totaled $45.4 billion for the first three quarters of 2017, a 3.3% increase from the same period last year. Farm cash receipts rose in six provinces, with Manitoba leading the country with a 7.5% increase.

Manitoba also had the largest increase on crop receipts with 13.1%, mainly due to increases in wheat excluding durum and soybean receipts. At the same tie, livestock receipts fell by 1.6%.

Average Weekly Earnings

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Manitoba's average weekly earnings in September 2017 were $916.00, up 3.2% compared to September 2016. Manitoba ranks 2nd among the provinces for wage growth year-over-year. Nationally, average weekly earnings are $986.00, up 1.0% from August, and up 3.1% compared to 12 months ago.

Compared to July 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba's ten largest sectors is generally positive, although average weekly wages for Administrative & support services decreased significantly (-8.0%). Declines also occurred in Information and cultural industries (-6.1%), Other services (-5.0%) and Health care and social assistance (-0.1%). The largest increases occurred in Management of companies and enterprises (24.0%), Transportation and warehousing (15.0%), and Finance & insurance (9.1%).

Building Permits

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the estimated value of building permits for September 2017 is $206.3 million, an increase of 5.3% from August, and up 1.6% from last September.

Year-to-date, Manitoba building permits total $2.15 billion, an increase of 4.8% compared since 2016, placing Manitoba 8th amongst provinces.

Nationally, the value of building permits is up 9.1% year-to-date.

At $114.0 million, Residential Building Permits are up 0.3% from August, and up 7.0% from last September. And at $92.3 million, Non-Residential Building Permits are up 12.1% from August and down 4.4% compared to last September.

CMHC Housing Starts

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) estimates 379 urban housing starts in October 2017, a 20.5% decrease from September, but up 0.3% from last October. With 5,474 urban housing starts year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 2nd among the provinces for housing starts growth; up 48.6% since 2016.

Nationally, housing starts in urban centres are up 16.1% compared to last October and 10.2% year-to-date.

Single unit starts in are down 1.8% from last October and up 36.3% year-to-date (ranked 2nd). Multiple unit starts are up 3.1% from last October and up 59.5% year-to-date (ranked 1st).

Manitoba Exports

Total Manitoba exports through September were $10.3 billion, an increase of 3.2% compared to 2016. Total year-to-date imports were $16.1 billion, an 8.4% increase over last year. As a result Manitoba’s trade deficit increased by 19.1% (from $4.8 billion to $5.8 billion year-to-date).

Exports to the United States fell 3.4% to $6.6 billion, which accounts for 64.3% of Manitoba’s total exports. American imports increased 8.5% year-to-date, to $12.4 billion. Non-US exports through September are up 17.8% to $3.7 billion, and Non-US imports are up 8.0% to $3.7 billion, giving Manitoba a small ($170 million) trade surplus with Non-US trading partners.


October Releases Click to open


Manufacturing Shipments

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Manitoba’s manufacturing shipments for August 2017 totaled $1.514 billion, a decrease of 1.5% from July, but up 3.8% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, Manitoba manufacturing shipments are 4.9% higher than 2016ranking Manitoba 8th among the provinces. Nationally, manufacturing sales are up 6.4%.

Compared to last August, Durable shipments have out-paced growth in Non-Durable shipments, which were 6.8% and 0.1% respectively (seasonally adjusted). Growth year-over-year was generally positive, led by machinery manufacturing categories:  Aerospace product and parts manufacturing (5.9%), Transportation equipment manufacturing (5.0%), Machinery manufacturing (21.0%). Miscellaneous manufacturing shipments are down 11.3% compared to August 2016

Employment Insurance

On a seasonally adjusted basis, 15,580 Manitobans received regular employment insurance benefits in August, a 8.0% decrease from July, but 1.7% higher than August 2016. Nationally, the number of regular beneficiaries dropped by 8.0% year-over-year.

Provincially, Manitoba ranks 8th best in employment insurance demand, at 1.8% growth year-to-date.

Initial claims for August are 4,650 (down 16.2% from last August), while renewal claims for August number just 850 (down 24.8% compared to last August). Year-to-date, Initial and Renewal claims growth rank 3rd and 5th best respectively.

Consumer Price Index

The Manitoba all-items index rose 1.5% in September 2017 compared to September 2016, up from the August annual rate of 0.9%.

Canada's annual rate of price increase in September was 1.6%, up from its August rate of 1.4%. As a result, Manitoba ranks 5th lowest among the provinces in average CPI change for September 2017.

Looking at major cost components, the 12 month change in CPI for September versus August is quite mixed. The Clothing and footwear index dropped 1.1 points to -3.6% in September, and the index for Recreation, education & reading dropped 0.8 points to 0.7%. In contrast, the price index for Food increased 1.9 points to 2.6%, and Transportation increased 1.6 points to 2.6%. The price index for Manitoba Shelter costs is unchanged from last month at 2.3%.

Retail Trade

At $1.66 billion, Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted retail sales in August are up 1.1% from July, and up 4.0% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 9th among the provinces in retail trade growth at 3.5%.  Nationally, retail sales are up 6.9% year-to-date.

Not adjusting for seasonality, retail sales up 6.1% from August 2016, with sales growth among retail categories generally strong but with notable weaknesses. Building material & garden equipment & supply store sales are up 19.1% compared to last August. Clothing store sales are up 15.1%, Gasoline station sales are up 12.2%, and General merchandisers sales are up 7.8%. However, Sporting goods, hobby, book & music store sales have declined (-13.5%), as have Health & personal care stores (-12.3%), and Furniture & home furnishings store sales (-7.3%).

Manitoba Population and Migration

Manitoba is growing

On September 27, Statistics Canada released its July 1, 2017 population estimates and second quarter migration estimates.

Manitoba’s population is estimated at 1,338,109 individuals, an increase of 19,994 people (1.52%) since July 2016. Manitoba’s growth rate was third strongest among the provinces and above the Canadian rate of 1.22%.

Manitobans gave birth to 17,641 babies over the last twelve months, the highest number of births for a July to June period since 1972.

Over the same period, Manitoba welcomed 15,679 immigrants and 13,135 more individuals came to Manitoba than left for other jurisdictions.

Over the past 12 months, Manitoba experienced a net loss of 6,906 individuals to other provinces, with more than three-quarters of net interprovincial migrants relocating to Ontario and British Columbia.


September Releases Click to open


Average Weekly Earnings

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Manitoba’s average weekly earnings were $909.02 in July 2017, up 1.7% from June and 2.6% compared to July 2016. Manitoba ranks 1st among the provinces for wage growth year-to-date at 2.4%.

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $970.47, up 1.8% from last July, and up 1.5% year-to-date.

Compared to July 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba’s ten largest sectors is generally positive, although average weekly wages for Administrative & support services decreased significantly (-15.4%). Declines also occurred in Health care and social assistance (-2.7%) and manufacturing (-0.2%). The largest increases occurred in Transportation & warehousing (10.2%), Educational services (9.6%), and Finance & insurance (8.9%).

Manufacturing Sales

Canadian manufacturing sales decreased by 2.6% in July, but are still 3.4% higher than at the same time last year. Manufacturing sales decreased in seven provinces and territories in July, led by Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario. Only Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan saw sales increase.

In July 2017, Manitoba's manufacturing sales were 2.4% lower than in the previous month, but have increased by 11.9% since July 2016, the 3rd highest year-over-year increase in the country and well above the Canadian increase of 3.4%.

Home Sales Forecast

On September 15, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) updated its forecasts for home sales activity through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System.

Manitoba's housing market had a breakout year in 2016, with rising sales putting downward pressure on previously elevated supply levels. In 2017 to date, housing levels in the province continued to decline.

Sales are projected to rise modestly Manitoba over the year, and Manitoba and Quebec are the only two provinces expected to set new sales records in 2017. Average sale prices will increase by 2.8% to $CDN 285,300. In 2018, Manitoba home sales are forecasted to decrease by 0.4%, while average sale prices are expected to increase a further 1.6%.

On a national level, sales activity is forecast to decrease by 5.3% in 2017. In 2018, sales on a national scale are projected to decline a further 2.3% over 2017.

Foreign Trade

Manitoba year-to-date exports through July 2017 totaled $8.1 billion, a 2.7% increase compared to the same period of 2016. Total year-to-date imports were $12.6 billion, an 8.8% increase over last year. As a result Manitoba's trade deficit increased by 21.9% (from -$3.7 billion to -$4.5 billion year-to-date).

Exports to the United States fell 4.0% to $5.2 billion, or 63.6% of Manitoba's total exports. US imports increased 8.3% to $9.7 billion. Non-US exports through July are up 16.9% to $3.0 billion, and Non-US imports are up 10.4% to $2.9 billion. This gives Manitoba a $66 million trade surplus with Non-US trading partners.

Residential construction investment, 2nd quarter 2017

Residential construction investment in Manitoba was $1,009.3 million in the second quarter of 2017, up 18.6% over the same timeframe of 2016. This places Manitoba's growth in residential construction investment 2nd, only behind PEI and well above the Canadian increase.

Nationally, residential construction investment totalled $33.2 billion in the second quarter, up by 7.7% compared to the same timeframe in 2016. Investment in renovations totalled $15 billion and accounted for almost 40% of the year-over-year change.

Average Weekly Earnings

Manitoba's seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in June were $897.79, 1.3% lower than in the previous month, but up 0.7% from last June. This ranks Manitoba 1st among the provinces for wage growth year-to-date at 2.4%.

Compared to June 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba's ten largest sectors is positive, except for Administrative & support services (-9.7%) and Health care and social assistance (-6.3%). The largest increases occurred in Transportation & warehousing (8.3%), Finance & insurance (7.1%), and Accommodation & food services (5.1%).

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $973.52, up 1.8% from last June, and up 1.5% year-to-date.

Building Permits

The estimated value of Building Permits for June is $238.1 million (seasonally adjusted). This is down 26.4% from June, but up 3.2% compared to last June.

Year-to-date, Manitoba building permits total $1.9 billion. This is up 15.9% compared to the first 7 months of 2016, which places Manitoba 5th in interprovincial ranking, tied with New Brunswick.

At $148.5 million, Residential Building Permits are down 16.0% from June, and up 15.2% from last July. At $89.6 million, Non-Residential Building Permits are down38.9% from June and 12.0% compared to last July.

Nationally, the value of building permits is down 3.5% from June, the first decrease since March. Year-over-year, the value of building permits has however increased by 12.4%.


August Releases Click to open


Wholesale Trade

In June 2017, Manitoba wholesale trade registered $1.61 billion in sales on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is a 5.9% decrease from May, but up 8.3% compared to June 2016.

Manitoba ranks 9th in wholesale trade growth year-to-date at 6.2%. Nationally sales are up 8.9% year-to-date. Not adjusting for seasonality, wholesale trade is up 7.3% compared to June 2016.

Movement within wholesale categories compared to last June is universally positive, ranging from 1.8% growth for Farm products to 14.1% growth for Machinery, equipment & supplies.

Retail Trade

At $1.62 billion, Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted retail sales in June are down 3.4% from May, and up just 1.6% compared to June 2016. Year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 9th among the provinces in retail trade growth at 3.1%. Nationally, retail sales are up 6.8% year-to-date.

Not adjusting for seasonality, retail sales compared to June 2016 are up 2.0%, with sales growth among retail categories generally strong but with notable weaknesses.

Compared to last June, sales of Building material & garden equipment & supplies are up 27.9%, Clothing store sales are up 15.0%, and Electronics & appliance store sales are up 10.2%. However, Health & personal care stores, and Motor vehicle & parts dealers sales have declined (-8.0% and -6.9% respectively).

Employment Insurance

On a seasonally adjusted basis, 14,830 Manitobans received regular employment insurance benefits in June 2017. This is a 0.9% improvement from May, and 2.0% fewer recipients than last June.

Nationally, regular beneficiaries dropped by 6.8% from last June. Interprovincial comparisons of employment insurance demand place Manitoba 5th best year-to-date, at -0.7%.

Initial claims for June are 4,420 (down 11.8% from last June). Renewal claims for June are 1,380 (up 13.1% compared to last June). Year-to-date, Initial and Renewal claims growth rank 4th and 7th best respectively.

Investment in New Housing Construction

Nationally, investment in new housing construction rose by 7.2% in June 2017 compared to the same time last year, mostly as a result of increases in investment in single family dwellings.

Year-over-year, investment in new housing construction in Manitoba increased by $45.7 million or 43.9%, the second highest increase in investment in the country. Manitoba and Quebec were the only two provinces with increased investment in all dwelling types.

Manufacturing Sales

Manufacturing sales decreased in eight provinces in June, led by Ontario and Quebec.

Manitoba and British Columbia were the two provinces with higher manufacturing sales in June. Sales in Manitoba rose 6.0% to $1.6 billion, the third consecutive monthly increase. Year over year, sales in Manitoba were up 11.9%. Higher sales in the transportation equipment, food, and primary metal industries were responsible for the gains in June.

Building Permits

The estimated value of Building Permits for June is $318.9 million (seasonally adjusted). This is up 40.4% from May and up 64.5% from last June.

Year-to-date, Manitoba building permits total $1.5 billion. This is up 10.6% compared to 2016, which places Manitoba 5th in interprovincial ranking.

Nationally, the value of building permits is up 9.0% year-to-date.

At $175.2 million, Residential Building Permits are up 16.6% from May, and up 57.7% from last June. At $143.7 million, Non-Residential Building Permits are up 86.8% from May and up 73.6% compared to last June.

Housing Starts

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates 399 urban housing starts in July, a 24.7% drop from last month, and down 37.0% from last July. However, with 4,039 urban housing starts Year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 2nd among the provinces for housing starts growth; 60.7% ahead of 2016.

Nationally, housing starts in urban centres are up 14.1% compared to last July, and have growth of 8.8% year-to-date.

Single unit starts, numbering 266, are up 33.7% from last July and up 49.0% year-to-date. Multiple unit starts, numbering 133, are down 69.4% from last July but up 70.2% year-to-date.  

Foreign Trade

Total Manitoba exports through June were $7.0 billion, a 2.3% increase compared to 2016.

Total year-to-date imports were $11.0 billion, a 9.1% increase over last year. As a result Manitoba’s trade deficit increased by 23.6% (from -$3.2 billion to -$4.0 billion year-to-date).

Exports to the United States fell 5.9% to $4.4 billion, which accounts for 62.8% of Manitoba’s total exports. American imports increased 8.5% year-to-date, to $8.5 billion.

Non-US exports through June are up 20.0% to $2.6 billion, and Non-US imports are up 11.2% to $2.5 billion. This gives Manitoba a $96 million trade surplus with Non-US trading partners.

Manitoba Labour Market

Manitoba added 4,800 jobs in July, a 0.7% increase from June. The labour force increased by 2,900, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 points to 5.0%, the lowest rate in the country. Manitoba’s participation rate is up 0.2 points to 67.4%, and the employment rate gained 0.4 points to 64.0%. Compared to June, Full-time employment increased by 4,100, while Part-time employment increased by 600 positions.

The number of Public sector employees is up 3,500 from June, while Private sector employment grew by 1,300 positions.

The youth (15-24 years) unemployment rate is up 0.3 points to 11.2%.

Compared to July 2016, Manitoba has gained 13,400 jobs, the unemployment rate is down 1.3 points, the participation rate is down 0.4 points, and the employment rate is up 0.4 points.

Compared to July 2016, the unemployment rate decreased in all regions except Parklands and North, and Southwest which was unchanged. Outside of Winnipeg, full-time employment increased the most in the Southeast region (+1,700) and part-time employment increased the most in the Southwest region (+100) of the province.

The goods producing sector is up 1,400 positions (0.9%) compared to July 2016, with changes in particular industries as follows: Manufacturing (+1,900), Construction (+900), Forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+700), Utilities (-1,200), and Agriculture (-1,000).

Service sector jobs have increased by 12,000 since last June (2.5%). This growth is led by Educational services (+3,600), Business, building and other support services (+2,700), and Finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing (+2,500).


July Releases Click to open


Mid-Sized Cities Outlook

Manitoba’s red tape reduction helps fuel economic growth

On July 25, 2017, The Conference Board of Canada released its latest Mid-Sized Cities Outlook, an analysis of eight mid-sized Canadian cities including Brandon. The outlook is generally positive for all but one of the cities covered in the outlook.

Brandon’s economy is expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2017/18, up from 1.4 per cent in the previous year. The Conference Board expects the manufacturing sector to gain 1.7 per cent in 2017/18 and notes this increase is partially a result of regulatory changes advanced by the province to stimulate Manitoba’s hog production.

Residential investment is expected to increase thanks to strong population growth, gains in employment and in personal income. Brandon’s economy is expected to create 610 net new jobs this year, resulting in a decrease in unemployment rate.

Wholesale Trade

In May, Manitoba wholesale trade sales totaled $1.73 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is an increase of 1.2% from April and an increase of 8.2% from May 2016.

Manitoba ranks 9th in wholesale trade growth year-to-date (up 6.3%), while nationally sales are up 8.9%.

Not adjusting for seasonality, wholesale trade is up 15.3% compared to May 2016.

Sales have increased in each category compared to last May, ranging from 3.0% growth for Building materials & supplies to 16.8% growth for Miscellaneous wholesalers.

Average Weekly Earnings

Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in May were $915.20.

This is a 0.9% drop from April, but up 3.1% from last May, which places Manitoba 1st among the provinces for wage growth year-to-date (2.9%).

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $972.41, up 2.0% from last May, and up 1.5% year-to-date.

Compared to May 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba’s ten largest sectors is positive, except for Administrative & support services (-6.4%) and Educational services (-2.9%). The largest increases occurred in Finance & insurance (11.6%), Accommodation & food services (8.5%), and Transportation & warehousing (7.4%).

Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours, May 2017

Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in April were $915.20. Over the past 12 months to April, average weekly earnings in Manitoba rose by 3.1%, the third-largest increase in the country only behind Yukon and Nunavut. Earnings in the province have trended upwards since October 2016.

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $972 on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 2.0% from last April, with most increases occurring in the last two months of 2016, but virtually unchanged from April 2017.

Compared to April 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba’s ten largest sectors is positive, except for Administrative & support services (-4.4%), Educational services (-1.8%) and Manufacturing (-0.3%). The largest increases occurred in Finance & insurance (+11.6%), the Accommodation and Food Services sector (+8.6%) and Transportation and warehousing (+7.4%).

Business Optimism

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its July 2017 Business Barometer, the results of the organization’s business outlook survey conducted with small and medium sized employers, on July 27, 2017.

Small business optimism in Manitoba is up for the third month in a row, with a Business Barometer Index of 68.9, an increase of 1.8 points since June and tied for the second-highest level in the country with Quebec. Short-term hiring plans remained positive, with 15 per cent of business owners looking to hire and 9 per cent looking to lay off. Approximately 46 per cent of business owners indicated their businesses are in good shape (43 per cent nationally), while only 5 per cent reported that their business is in poor shape (10 per cent nationally).

On a national scale, small business optimism slipped to 60.7, a decrease of 0.2 points compared to the previous month.

Manufacturing Shipments

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing shipments were CDN $1.465 billion, an increase of 0.3% from the previous month and 4.8% higher than at the same time last year.

Year-to-date, Manitoba manufacturing shipments are up 2.0%, ranking the province 9th nationally for manufacturing sales growth, while on a national level, sales are up by 6.4%.

Year-over-year, non - durable goods shipment growth has outpaced durable goods shipment growth. Highest gains were in machinery manufacturing (+25.4%), while miscellaneous manufactured product shipments decreased by 31.6%.

Employment Insurance

On a seasonally adjusted basis, 14,990 Manitobans received regular employment insurance benefits in May, a decrease of 1.3% from April and 2.1% lower than during the same month of last year. Nationally, regular beneficiaries dropped by 4.9% year-over-year.

Year-to-date, employment insurance demand in Manitoba dropped by 0.5%, placing the province 4thin Canada. Initial claims in May are 4,470 (down 4.7% year-over-year) and renewal claims are 1,330 (up 60.2%). Year-to date, initial and renewal claims growth rank 4th and 7th best respectively.

Consumer Price Index

The Manitoba all-items index rose 0.2% in June 2017 compared to the same month last year. This was down from the May annual rate of 1.0%.

Canada’s annual rate of price increases in June was 1.0%, down from 1.3% in May. As a result, Manitoba ranks lowest in average CPI change for June 2017.

The 12-month change in CPI is lower for most items than the corresponding estimates from May. The largest decrease occurred in Clothing and Footwear (down from -1.0% in May to -4.8% in June) and Transportation (down from 1.1% to -2.6%).

Retail Trade

Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted retail sales were CDN $1.70 billion in May 2017, an increase of 0.8% over April and up 6.6% from May 2016.

Year-to-date, Manitoba ranks 9th amongst provinces in retail sales growth at 3.8%, below the national increase of 6.6%.

On a seasonally unadjusted basis, retail sales are up 9.4% year-over-year. The retail categories with the highest sales growth over the past year include Gasoline Stations (+20.3%), Building Materials & Garden Equipment and Supplies (+18.9%), Electronics and Appliance Stores (+15.2%), Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers (+13.1%) and Clothing Stores (+11.6%).

Housing Starts

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimates 530 urban housing starts in June is a 37.9% drop from last month. However, this figure is well up (42.1%) from June 2016, and with 3,640 starts so far in 2017, Manitoba ranks 1st in year-to-date housing starts growth (93.6)%.

Nationally, housing starts in urban centres are down 2.9% compared to last June, and have growth of 7.9% year-to-date.

Single unit starts, numbering 259, are up 52.4% from last June and up 52.3% year-to-date. Multiple unit starts, numbering 271, are up 33.5% from last June and up 133.6% year-to-date.

Building Permits

The estimated value of Building Permits for May is $213.2 million (seasonally adjusted). This is up 0.5% from April and up 6.5% from last May.

Year-to-date, Manitoba building permits total $1.2 billion. This is up 0.5% compared to 2016, which places Manitoba 7th in interprovincial ranking.

Nationally, the value of building permits is up 6.1% year-to-date.

At $141.8 million, Residential Building Permits are up 4.0% from April, and up 40.5% from last May, while at $71.5 million, Non-Residential Building Permits are down 5.6% from April and down 28.1% compared to last May.

Foreign Trade

Total Manitoba exports through May were $5.9 billion, a 1.4% increase compared to 2016. Total year-to-date imports were $9.1 billion, a 9.0% increase over last year. As a result Manitoba’s trade deficit increased 26.1% (from -$2.6 billion to -$3.3 billion year-to-date).

Exports to the United States fell 7.5% to $3.7 billion, which accounts for 62.6% of Manitoba’s total exports. American imports increased 8.6% year-to-date, to $7.0 billion.

Non-US exports through May are up 20.8% to $2.2 billion, and Non-US imports are up 10.2% to $2.1 billion. This gives Manitoba a $108 million trade surplus with Non-US trading partners.

Business

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its June 2017 Business Barometer, the results of the organization’s business outlook survey conducted with small and medium sized employers.

On a national scale, small business optimism dropped significantly compared to the previous month. This is mostly a result of a significant drop in optimism in Ontario.

Business optimism in Manitoba is up slightly in June, with a Business Barometer Index of 67.1, the third-highest level in the country. Short-term hiring plans remained positive, with 18 per cent of business owners looking to hire and 7 per cent looking to lay off. Approximately 44 per cent of business owners indicated their businesses are in good shape, while only 6 per cent reported that their business is in poor shape.


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Payroll employment, earnings and hours, April 2017

Manitoba’s seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in April were $920. Over the past 12 months to April, average weekly earnings in Manitoba rose by 3.6%, the largest increase in the country. Earnings in the province have trended upwards since October 2016. This is an increase of 0.7% from March, and up 3.1% from last April, which places Manitoba 1st among the provinces for wage growth year-to-date (2.6%).

Nationally, average weekly earnings are $971 on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 2.0% from last April, with most increases occurring in the last two months of 2016.

Compared to April 2016, change in average weekly earnings for Manitoba’s ten largest sectors is positive, except for Administrative & support services (-7.4%) and Public administration (-0.3%). The largest increases occurred in Finance & insurance (8.8%), and the Accommodation and Food Services sector (8.0%).

Manitoba Population and Migration

On June 15, Statistics Canada released its April 1, 2017 population estimates and first quarter migration estimates.

Manitoba’s population is estimated at 1,332,629 individuals, a record-breaking increase of 20,851 people (1.59%) since April 2016. Manitoba’s growth rate was strongest of any province and above the Canadian rate of 1.23%

Manitobans gave birth to 17,771 babies over the last 12 months, the highest number of births for an April to March period since 1972. Over the same period, Manitoba welcomed a record-breaking 16,438 immigrants and 14,014 more individuals came to Manitoba than left for other jurisdictions.

Over the past 12 months, Manitoba experienced a net loss of 6,747 individuals to other provinces, with nearly three quarters of net interprovincial migrants relocating to British Columbia and Ontario.

Western Provinces to Lead Economic Growth in 2017

The Conference Board of Canada released its Provincial Outlook: Spring 2017.

Manitoba’s economy is forecast to expand by a solid 2.1 per cent in 2017, slightly lower than last year’s growth. The province will continue to see strong construction activity as investment in the Keeyask dam ramps up and work continues on the Bipole III transmission line. Manufacturing will remain a growth driver for the province, with bright spots in transportation, equipment manufacturing and food processing.

Building Permits

On June 6, Statistics Canada released April 2017 data on the value of building permits in Canada. Canadian municipalities issued $7.1 billion worth of building permits in April, down 0.2% from March and 3.3% lower than at the same time last year. Lower construction intentions for single-family dwellings were mainly responsible for the national decrease. The value of building permits declined in four provinces in April, led by Ontario and Alberta.

The estimated value of Manitoba building permits issued in April was $202.4 million dollars. Compared to March, the value of building permits issued in Manitoba is up 11.5%, with similar increases for residential (+11.6%) and non-residential permits (+11.2%). Residential activity remains strong, with the increase being fourth highest in the country. Year-to date, Manitoba building permits total to $950.3 million, 1.8% lower than during the same period in 2016.

Compared to April 2016, the value of residential building permits issued is 19.3% higher, while that of non-residential permits decreased by 67.1%. The increase in residential building permits year-over-year is second highest in Canada.

CMHC Housing Starts

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s estimate of 825 housing starts in May is well up from April (104.7%). This is also up 98.3% compared to last May. As a result of this strong performance, Manitoba now ranks 1st in year-to-date housing starts growth at 102.6%.

Nationally, housing starts in urban centres are up 2.0% compared to last May, and have growth of 10.9% year-to-date.

Single unit starts, numbering 257, are up 51.2% from last May and up 48.2% year-to-date. Multiple unit starts, numbering 568, are up 130.9% from last May and up 157.2% year-to-date.

Statistics for housing starts are from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).



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