Canadian retail sales recorded strong growth for the month of October, rising by 0.4% on a month-over-month basis, marking the sixth consecutive month of increases since the onset of the economic crash back in April.
According to the latest data released by Statistics Canada, retail sales rose to a total of $54.6 billion in October, largely lead by sales growth of motor vehicles and parts, which increased by 1.5%. On a year-over-year basis, the sales of heavy trucks and buses rose by 4.1% compared to October 2019, but sales of new passenger cars fell by 23.2% during the same time period. Also for the first time in six months, sales at gasoline stations dropped by 2.7%.
Excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, core retail sales grew by 0.3% in October. This is mostly due to an increase of 11.8% for sporting goods, hobby, book, and music sales, followed by sales at furniture and furnishings stores which rose by 6.6%, as well as an increase of 2.9% in sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. Overall, retail sales increased across 6 of the 11 sub-sectors, which when combined, represent 50.9% of all retail trade in Canada.
Regionally, retail sales increased in 7 out of 10 provinces, but for the first time since April, sales in Ontario fell by 0.4%, largely due to the record number of Covid-19 cases and the resulting reintroduction of restrictions across the province in October. The drop in retail sales in Ontario was mostly led by a decline at clothing and clothing accessories stores. New Brunswick also recorded a decline of 4.3% in October, led by reduced sales at general merchandise stores.
Online shopping, which has grown in popularity amid social distancing measures and lockdown restrictions, has caused retail e-commerce sales to reach $3.1 billion in October on an unadjusted basis. Retail e-commerce sales accounted for 5.2% of all retail trade in October, but did decline by 0.3% from September. On a year-over-year basis though, retail e-commerce sales increased by 67.7% compared to October 2019.
Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.