Paul Martin's Business Update - May 1st, 2014

May 01, 2014, 01:41 PM, North Battleford, SK, Canada

Paul Martin's Business Update - May 1st, 2014

It may have been too cold to play outside in February but it certainly did not interfere with our desire to go out for dinner.

January was a particularly strong month for food and beverage businesses in the province with sales rising nearly one-and-a-half percent over December which is always a good month. And the gains generated in January were sustained in February as sales were virtually unchanged on a month-over-month basis. And given that February is a short month, it would suggest that the upward momentum is probably still in place.

The gains were fairly widespread. Food service companies – everything from full service restaurants to fast food outlets and caterers – saw gains over January. Only drinking establishments saw some retraction.

Patronage of restaurants and taverns is generally a sign of consumer sentiment and the availability of cash for discretionary spending. On this count, Saskatchewan is doing quite well. For example, sales in our food and beverage outlets is higher than Manitoba’s and by a fair bit…roughly 8 percent. Not bad for a province with a population base that is 10 per cent smaller.

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