SOURCE: Scotiabank

Scotiabank

February 06, 2015 08:00 ET

Central Canada Will Drive Canadian Auto Sales to Record Highs: Scotiabank

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 06, 2015) - Canadian auto sales climbed a stronger-than-expected 6% last year to a record high of 1.85 million units, according to the Scotiabank Global Auto Report released today. In contrast to last year when purchases advanced in all regions, the outlook is diverging across provinces with Central Canada to become the growth engine that will drive purchases to record highs.

"We expect sales to edge up 1.86 million units in 2015, buoyed by ongoing job gains, low interest rates, and near-record vehicle affordability," said Carlos Gomes, Senior Economist and Auto Industry Specialist at Scotiabank. "Canadian exports have accelerated over the past year, advancing by 11% -- the best performance since 2011. Shipments will be buoyed in 2015 by the strongest economic growth in the United States in a decade, as well as by the recent sharp depreciation of the Canadian dollar as a result of the slump in global oil prices."

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Car and light truck purchases in Ontario jumped a stronger-than-expected 11% last year, climbing above 700,000 units for the first time on record, and are expected to increase to 726,000 in 2015 alongside higher household and fleet volumes.
  • The sharp, up-front retrenchment in Alberta's 'oil patch' will drag down vehicle sales to 263,000 units this year, down from a peak of 269,000 in 2014. However, even with the downturn in oil and gas investment, Alberta's labour market will continue to grow in line with the national average, as the resource sector only accounts for only 3% of all jobs in Alberta.
  • Quebec's auto market has underperformed in the current cycle, held back by a weak job market. However, we expect strengthening manufacturing exports will finally stabilize employment prospects, helping to lift auto sales to 423,000 units in 2015 -- the third-highest level of record.

Read the full Scotiabank Global Auto Report online at: http://www.scotiabank.com/ca/en/0,,3112,00.html.

Scotiabank provides clients with in-depth research into the factors shaping the outlook for Canada and the global economy, including macroeconomic developments, currency and capital market trends, commodity and industry performance, as well as monetary, fiscal and public policy issues.

Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada's most international bank. Through our team of more than 86,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates offer a broad range of products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, corporate and investment banking to over 21 million customers. With assets of $806 billion (as at October 31, 2014), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). Scotiabank distributes the Bank's media releases using Marketwired. For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

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