Home News Canadian Retail Spending Remains Flat During the Holiday Season

Canadian Retail Spending Remains Flat During the Holiday Season


By Robb M. Stewart

Canadian retail spending has shown no significant change as we enter the holiday season, indicating that consumers may be more hesitant to spend in a challenging economic environment with high interest rates.

According to an advance estimate of receipts released by Statistics Canada, retail sales remained relatively unchanged last month. In October, sales experienced a 0.7% increase to 66.95 billion Canadian dollars ($50.08 billion), a figure that was slightly below economists’ expectations of a 0.8% advance. This growth follows a revised 0.5% increase in September.

Compared to the previous year, retail sales in October were 2.2% higher.

The rise in October’s sales was primarily driven by automotive dealers, while gasoline stations and fuel vendors experienced a significant drop in receipts due to lower prices offsetting higher volumes. Overall, sales increased in seven out of nine subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada.

When excluding gasoline stations and motor-vehicle and parts dealers, core retail sales saw a 1.2% increase from September, buoyed by sales at general merchandise retailers.

In terms of volume, price-adjusted sales experienced a robust 1.4% rise for the month, which was significantly higher than the previous month’s 0.2% increase.

However, the upward trend in overall retail trade appears to have leveled off in November. This estimate, based on responses from nearly 55% of surveyed companies, will be subject to revision.

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It is clear that the Canadian economy continues to face challenges as it navigates through a period of contraction. While some sectors experience modest growth, others face declines. The impact of higher interest rates and a restrained spending environment will likely shape the country’s economic trajectory in the coming months.


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