Issue 18-71 Retail Sales

April 20, 2018

Retail sales in British Columbia (seasonally adjusted) went up by 0.4% in February compared to January, led by clothing and clothing accessories stores. Notable declines were observed in gasoline stations, health and personal care stores, and electronics and appliance stores.

Nationally, retail activity grew by 0.4% in February. The largest gains were observed in building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.1%) and general merchandise stores (+2.0%). Sales in furniture and home furnishings stores (-2.0%) saw the largest declines in the month.

Retail sales were up in seven provinces in February, with New Brunswick reporting the smallest gains. The largest sales increase among provinces was recorded in Nova Scotia (+3.2%), while the largest decrease was in Manitoba (-1.9%).

Among reported census metropolitan areas, retail sales rose in Toronto (+0.4%), while Vancouver (‑1.2%) and Montreal (-0.8%) saw a decline in February. 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 14.6% (unadjusted) from the previous year in February, compared to 3.7% growth of all (unadjusted) retail sales.  

Source: Statistics Canada