One way to get a feel for how the economy in a local community or region is tracking the performance of its retail system.
There’s a way to get a feel for that even before it happens – by looking at the wholesale sector. That sector is the final stop before things hit the retail shelf.
The wholesale sector has been a key driver in lifting Saskatchewan’s overall economic performance. As we rounded the corner on winter and headed into spring back in April, for example, we could see how the wholesale community was gearing up for demand with the arrival of spring.
Inventories were on the rise in areas such as the lawn and garden sector. Revenue flowing through these businesses was basically the same as the previous month but it was dramatically higher than a year earlier as sales increased by 30 per cent year over year.
That is almost triple the national gains and outpaced every other province by quite a margin – nearly double the nearest one – even though many other places had farther to catch up because of COVID-19 closures and lockdowns.