8.6 C
New York
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Home Business Retail sales grew by 0.6% in July, now back to where they...

Retail sales grew by 0.6% in July, now back to where they were before COVID-19

Canadians spent more at stores in July than they  did in June, the third straight months of gains after a precipitous plunge because of COVID-19 lockdowns in the three months before that.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canadians spent $52.9 billion at retailers in July, a 0.6 per cent increase from June’s level.

While July was the third month in a row that sales expanded since troughing in April, the rate of growth is slowing down, from 0.7 per cent in June to 0.6 in July. It’s also less than the 1 per cent growth that economists had been expecting.

Sales of cars and car parts grew by 3.3 per cent, “on continued pent-up demand for motor vehicles following pandemic-driven dealership closures in the spring,” the data agency said.

More cars on the road also helps explain why sales were up by 6.1 per cent at gas stations, too. “The sales gain was attributable to higher gasoline prices and the continued reopening of the economy, as well as more Canadians travelling and buying locally,” Statscan said.

Automotive-related sales helped push up the overal retail sales figure, but not every type of store saw higher sales.

Sales were down at:

  • Building material and garden equipment stores.
  • Food and beverage stores.
  • Sports, hobby, book and music stores
  • Health and personal care stores
  • General merchandise stores.

Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter noted that declines in some of the sectors listed above were to be expected, since many of them saw huge surges in demand earlier in the pandemic. And most of them have higher sales today than they did a year ago, regardless of COVID-19.

“While the headline gain was a bit shy of expectations, the much bigger and more important picture is that retail and wholesale activity just carved out perfect V-shaped rebounds,” he said. “Now that the pent-up demand has been satisfied in many sectors, expect much more subdued (i.e., normal) figures in the months ahead in the sales data.”

Provincial breakdown

Sales were also up in some parts of the country, but down in others. Sales rose in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, but they declined in every other province.

The boom in online shopping seen earlier in the pandemic appears to be running out of steam, as e-commerce sales came in at $2.8 billion for the month, down from $3.5 billion in June.  In April, when most physical stores were shut down, online shopping made up about 10 per cent of all retail sales in Canada. By July, that ratio fell to less than half that — 4.8 per cent.

TD Bank economist Ksenia Bushmeneva noted that at this point in the recovery, all but two categories of goods – sales of gasoline and clothing – have risen above where they were a year ago, which is good news for Canada’s economic recovery from COVID-19. But things are far from back to normal overall.

“The continued federal government income support programs and low interest rates will remain supportive for consumer spending,” she said. “However, there are also significant headwinds, such as the still-high level of unemployment, uncertainty with respect to deferral programs, and rising COVID-19 cases. With the recovery in sales now fully complete, the way forward may be more challenging.”


Source link

Today news
Today News 1 runs four of the western GTA’s most influential media websites, offering news, food, lifestyle and entertainment coverage for millions to the Golden Horseshoe and GTA regions. The independently-run, online news source was founded in 2019 and specializes in everything from breaking news to food and restaurant, arts and entertainment and lifestyle coverage.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Does the U.S. need a trillion-dollar coin?

There's an idea floating around that is undoubtedly crazy. But it has gained traction and support from some of the biggest economic thinkers...

U.S. confirms it will accept Canadian travellers with mixed vaccines

Canadians with mixed vaccines and U.S. travel plans can breathe a sigh of relief tonight.  Following weeks of speculation, the United States...

Ontario venues say new COVID-19 rules create ‘double standard’ for standing concerts

Indoor concerts are slowly coming back to life in Ontario, but venue owners say the latest COVID-19 guidelines will dampen any significant return...

Schitt’s Creek star Noah Reid to make Broadway debut in The Minutes

Schitt's Creek star Noah Reid is set to make his Broadway debut. Producers say the Toronto actor and musician, who played Patrick on...

Recent Comments