Blogs & Comment

Retail Sales Show Improvement

Statistics Canada figures show that seasonally adjusted retail sales in January were up 1.9% over the previous month. Sales rose by $635 million or about $20 per capita. Out of 18 categories, 13 showed improved January sales with new car dealers at the front of the line with a 6.4% or $317 million improvement. The one month figures are a welcome improvement as the data for 12 months show a 5.8% decline with 11 of the 18 categories losing sales. The stores that had sales increases in both periods were supermarkets, convenience and specialty foods, beer, wine and liquor, pharmacies and personal care, general merchandise and sporting goods, hobby, music & books. Below is a table showing the data for three months and the one month and one year changes. All sales figures are in $ millions.

Jan Dec. Jan. 1 month 1 year
2008 2008 2009 % Change % change
New car dealers 6,635 4,982 5,299 6.4 -20.1
Used Cars, RVs and parts 1,694 1,569 1,540 -1.8 -9.1
Gasoline stations 4,326 3,413 3,503 2.6 -19
Furniture 863 803 795 -1 -7.9
Home furnishings 524 451 449 -0.5 -14.3
Computer and software 117 101 104 3.7 -10.7
Home electronics & appliances 1,083 1,097 1,086 -1 0.3
Home centres & hardware 1,832 1,718 1,686 -1.9 -8
Specialized building materials & garden 433 411 414 0.7 -4.4
Supermarkets 5,590 5,856 5,983 2.2 7
Convenience & specialty food 839 841 849 0.8 1.1
Beer, wine & liquor 1,377 1,365 1,402 2.7 1.8
Pharmacies & personal care 2,413 2,423 2,472 2 2.5
Clothing 1,559 1,466 1,506 2.7 -3.4
Shoe, clothing accessories & jewellery 468 436 453 3.8 -3.2
General merchandise 4,176 4,320 4,322 0 3.5
Sporting goods, hobby, music & books 888 894 901 0.9 1.5
Miscellaneous retailers 910 883 902 2.1 -0.9
Total retail sales 35,728 33,031 33,666 1.9 -5.8