Issue 18-19 Retail Sales

January 25, 2018

Retail sales in British Columbia remained virtually unchanged compared to October. Large declines in motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were offset by increased sales in electronics and appliance, clothing and clothing accessories, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.

Nationally, retail activity grew by 0.2% in November, led by electronics and appliance stores (+12.9%) and gasoline stations (+5.9%). Motor vehicle and parts dealers (‑3.6%) saw the largest decrease in sales among sub-industries.

Retail sales were up in five provinces and two territories in November. The largest sales increases among provinces were observed in Quebec (+0.9%) and Manitoba (+0.4%), while the largest decline was in Newfoundland and Labrador (‑3.2%).

Among reported census metropolitan areas, retail sales rose in Montreal (+1.2%) and Toronto (+0.8%), while Vancouver saw a slight decline (‑0.1%) in November. Note that these three census metropolitan areas represent nearly one third of all retail sales in Canada.

Retail E-commerce continues to grow faster than overall retail sales. Retail E‑commerce was up 25.5% (unadjusted) from the previous year in November, compared to 7.1% growth of all (unadjusted) retail sales.  

Source: Statistics Canada