Retail Fast Facts


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

View Retail Fast Facts: September 2016

National Seasonally Adjusted total monthly retail sales (less Autos & Gas) for July 2016 increased 3.5 per cent over the comparable month last year, and increased 0.4 per cent versus the prior month

Retail Council of Canada Commentary

The Regional Story

  • Canadian retail sales were flat in July with a slight drop of -0.1% from June.  Year-over-year sales are up by 2.3% since July 2015. (p.3)
  • Central Canada and BC remain significantly stronger than the other provinces. On a year-over-year basis, BC is a standout among the larger provinces with growth of 6.4%. (p.3)
  • Significant monthly declines in New Brunswick (-6.9%) and Newfoundland (-6.2%) may be associated with recent tax changes and messages of restraint as the two provinces wrestle with their budget imbalances. (p.2)
  • Continued resource industry challenges in Alberta (-0.8%) and Saskatchewan (-3.3%) are also contributors to weakness there in retail sales and bring down the national numbers.  (p.2)

The Sectoral Story

  • As with several recent RFF releases, the picture varies significantly depending on whether gasoline sales, cars and car parts are included in the total.  Together, these make up 35.4% of total retail sales.  The volatile price of gasoline and the level of car sales can thus have a major impact on the overall picture for retail. 
  • Broader patterns in retail are considerably more positive.  On a 12-month rolling-sum basis, sales excluding cars and gas grew 3.5% versus 0.1% growth in cars and gas. (p.6)
  • Nationally, the strong performance in building materials and clothing and especially in shoes should be noted.  (p.6 and p. 10)
  • On cross-border shopping, same-day car trips by Canadians to the U.S. were down 7.8% or 181 thousand trips for July 2016 over  July 2015, while inbound trips from U.S. visitors increased by 9.4% or 85 thousand trips, no doubt reflecting the changes in the exchange rate. (p.22)

(Total monthly retail sales compared to the same month the previous year)