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

View Retail Fast Facts: August 2016

National Seasonally Adjusted total monthly retail sales (less Autos & Gas) increased 3.0 per cent over the comparable month last year, and decreased 1.2 per cent versus the prior month

Retail Council of Canada notes/highlights to the May retail economic report:

  • The month-over-month retail growth rate for May looks at first glance to be a bit anaemic at 0.2% but this is largely due to weak performance in car sales. Excluding automotive sales, retail sales actually grew by 0.7% in May. p.6
  • Robust food and beverage growth of 2.1% was driven by a big increase in alcoholic beverage sales, up by a whopping 6.0% in May over April’s numbers, which may be attributable in part to the early arrival of good weather, outdoor sports and the BBQ season. p.6
  • Gasoline sales have really been on a roller coaster ride because of price changes. The year-over-year change is a notable -9.6%. Taking out the decline in gasoline sales, retail’s rolling twelve-month growth would have been a solid 4.8%. p.10
  • Ontario retail sales were flat in May, following several months of Ontario being at or near the front of the pack. Some of the weakness in May is likely due to falling gas prices and to uptick in the Canada-US exchange rate, which may have made cross-border purchases slightly more attractive than earlier in the year. Traffic numbers for Canadians crossing the U.S. Border were up 9.5% in May over April, which would seem to support this partial explanation. However, the 12-month rolling growth rates for Ontario (5.3%) and Toronto (5.5%) are substantially above the national average. p.6, p.10 and p.22
  • Due to the ongoing weakness of the oil and gas industry, Alberta continues to see a gradual fall-off from what had been extraordinary growth in 2014. But it appears from the data that the Fort McMurray fires have had a relatively small effect on the provincial retail sales numbers. The rolling 12-month growth rate for Alberta is positive (0.3%) if one excludes cars and gas station sales but negative (-3.5%) once they are included. p.10, p.12 and p.14

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