Issue 18-56: Retail Sales

March 23, 2018

Retail sales in British Columbia (seasonally adjusted) fell by 1.0% in January compared to December. Notable declines were observed in clothing and clothing accessories stores, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, and food and beverage stores.

Nationally, retail activity grew by 0.3% in January. The largest gains were observed in electronics and appliance stores (+4.0%) and furniture and home furnishings stores (+3.4%). Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.7%) saw the largest decline in sales among sub-industries.

Retail sales were up in six provinces and all territories in January. The largest sales increase among provinces was recorded in Manitoba (+2.7%), while the largest decrease was in New Brunswick (-1.3%).

Among reported census metropolitan areas, retail sales rose in Montreal (+0.4%) and Toronto (+1.5%), while Vancouver (‑0.4%) saw a decline in January. 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 14.8% (unadjusted) from the previous year in January, compared to 5.6% growth of all (unadjusted) retail sales.  

Source: Statistics Canada