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Retail Fast FactsView the latest national monthly sales by category in RCC's Retail Fast Facts.

View Retail Fast Facts: December 2016

National Seasonally Adjusted total monthly retail sales (less Autos & Gas) for October 2016 increased 4.3 per cent over the comparable month last year, and increased 1.0 per cent versus the prior month.

Retail Council of Canada commentary:

The Regional Story 

· Following upon 0.6% growth in September, Canadian retail sales rose by 1.1% in October. Year-over-year sales are up by 2.6% since October 2015 (p.3).
· After an anaemic Q3 of 2016, Ontario sales grew by 1.6% in October, and are up by 4.6% over October 2015. Among the larger provinces, only British Columbia saw higher growth in October (+1.8%), a     whopping 8.4% increase from October 2015 (p.3).
· Quebec has been more evenly paced this year, up 0.5% in October, following on 0.9% growth in September (p.3).
· On a year-over-year basis, Quebec and Ontario have seen similar growth levels, up by 4.1% and 4.6%, respectively (p.3).
· Alberta shows further signs of recovery with growth of 0.8% in October, following on some modest growth in September (+0.3%). (p.3)

The Sectoral Story 

· The growth story is less compelling once the impact of gasoline sales is netted out. Gasoline sales rose by 3.8% in October as compared to 1.0% growth for retail trade exclusive of gasoline and vehicle     sales (p.5 and p.6).
· Note that gas prices moved back down in November so we can expect to see some impact on the retail sales numbers next month. When talking about retail trends, one should probably ignore cars and     gasoline as they are a very specialized story.
· The strong year-to-date performance in building materials (+6.9%), health and personal care stores (+7.4%) and especially shoe stores (+10.0%) are the annual sectoral stories of note. (p.10).
· On cross-border shopping, same-day car trips by Canadians to the U.S. were down -1.1% or 20 thousand trips for October 2016 over September 2016, while inbound trips from U.S. visitors decreased by -9.0% or 66 thousand trips (p.22).  Some   of this is simply a matter of seasonal adjustment, as October sees relatively fewer vacation trips taken and also sees Canadians staying home on Thanksgiving weekend.

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