Issue 17-154 Retail Sales

November 23 2017

Retail sales in British Columbia rose by 0.4% in September compared to August, mainly due to increased sales in electronics and appliance, and furniture and home furnishing stores. Notable decreases were observed at motor vehicle and parts dealers, and food and beverage stores.

Nationally, retail activity grew by 0.1% in September, led by building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.6%) and gasoline stations (+2.6%). Clothing and clothing accessories stores (‑2.8%) saw the largest decrease in sales among sub-industries.

Retail sales were up in five provinces and two territories in September. The largest sales increases among provinces were observed in New Brunswick (+2.1%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+1.8%), while the largest declines were in Nova Scotia (‑2.5%) and Prince Edward Island (‑1.5%).

Among reported census metropolitan areas, retail sales rose in Vancouver (+0.7%), while Montreal (‑1.1%) and Toronto (‑0.8%) saw declines in September. Note that these three census metropolitan areas represent nearly one third of all retail sales in Canada.

Retail E-commerce continues to gain importance, outpacing overall retail sales growth. Retail E‑commerce was up 16.7% (unadjusted) from the previous year in September, compared to 6.2% growth of all (unadjusted) retail sales.  

Source: Statistics Canada