Calgary

Consumer spending rises across Canada but dips in Alberta

People seem to be in the mood to spend in every province except Alberta, which posted a decrease in consumer spending of almost three per cent in the second quarter of 2016, the latest numbers show.

Report by Moneris finds spending up 5.53% nationally, down 2.9% in Alberta in 2nd quarter of 2016

While consumer spending increased everywhere else in Canada in the second quarter of 2016, it decreased in Alberta. (Canadian Press)

People seem to be in the mood to spend in every province except Alberta, which posted a decrease in consumer spending of almost three per cent in the second quarter of 2016, the latest numbers show.

Nationally, consumer spending grew by 5.53 per cent from April to June on a year-over-year basis, says a report released on Tuesday by Moneris Solutions Corp., which processes debit and credit card payments.

Alberta was the only province to show a decrease, with spending down by 2.9 per cent.

In Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, where the energy-sector downturn has also hit hard, consumer spending only rose marginally — 0.99 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.

Ontario saw the largest increase, at 8.35 per cent, followed by Prince Edward Island at 8.11 per cent, the report says.

This is the seventh consecutive quarter showing positive spending increases nationally, and Moneris says it expects the trend to hold.

"We do expect to see spending up in the third quarter as we move into the busy summer tourism season," said president and CEO Angela Brown in a release.

"Additionally, the bars and restaurants category is expected to continue to see growth driven by special events like the Euro Cup and the Olympic Games."

Consumer spending rose by 8.33 per cent in April, 3.88 per cent in May and 4.64 per cent in June, compared to the same three months in 2015, the report found.

The Fort McMurray wildfires led to a 21-per cent increase in charitable giving in the second quarter. Donations were up nearly 60 per cent in May, the month of the disaster.

But while giving increased in May, spending in Alberta dropped particularly hard for that month, which saw a 4.75-per-cent decrease, year over year.

The report also found that tourists are opening their wallets.

The low Canadian dollar drove up spending on foreign credit cards — particularly U.S.-based credit cards — by 9.49 per cent in the second quarter, Moneris says.

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