Retail trade GDP increased 3.7% in March, following a 5.9% jump in February as 10 of 12 subsectors were up according to the just released GDP numbers from StatCan.
Activity at building material and garden equipment and supplies retailers jumped 15.3% in March as restrictions ease and temperatures rise through the country. Clothing and clothing accessories retailing also posted a strong increase (+18.6%) in March, following a 34.1% jump in February.
Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+7.4%), furniture and home furnishings stores (+5.1%), and other traditional brick-and-mortar stores all benefited from regulations permitting in-store shopping. Declines in food and beverage stores (-0.9%) and gasoline stations (-0.8%) offset some of the gains.
Year over year, retail GDP increased in March 2021 by 20%. This is best interpreted in the context of the pandemic first hitting the sector in March 2020, lockdown variations between Spring 2020 and 2021, and the rise in ecommerce and digital adaptations since last March. View March YoY GDP.