Issue 17-95: Retail Sales

August 22, 2017

British Columbia’s retailers saw a 1.9% increase in sales in June. Sales in all subsectors increased with the exception of sales in health and personal care stores, and clothing and clothing accessories stores. Notable gains were observed in food and beverage stores, electronics and appliance stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.

Nationally, retail activity in June rose slightly (+0.1%) for the fourth month in a row. Retail sales increased in general merchandise stores (+2.9%), clothing and clothing accessories stores (+2.7%), and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.2%), while sales at gasoline stations (-1.8%) and motor vehicle and parts dealers (-1.4%) registered a decrease in the month.

Retail sales were up in five provinces in June, with B.C. registering the most substantial increase, followed by Alberta (+1.0%) and Nova Scotia (+1.0%).

Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver (Canada's three largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs)) represent nearly one third of all retail sales in Canada. Starting with this month's release, seasonally adjusted series are now available for these CMAs.

In June, seasonally adjusted retail sales rose in Vancouver (+3.5%) led by an increase in motor vehicle and parts dealers sales. Montréal also saw a gain in June (+0.6%), while sales declined in Toronto (-2.4%).

Source: Statistics Canada