Canada March retail sales 0.7% vs. +0.3% expected

Author: Greg Michalowski | Category: News

Canadian retail sales data for March

  • The prior month was revised to -0.4% from -0.6%
  •  ex-autos-0.2% versus +0.2 expected
  • prior ex-autos -0.1%
  • Sales were up in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 53% of total retail trade
  • Motor vehicle and parts dealers (+3.2%) recorded the largest gain. The increase was largely attributable to higher sales at new car dealers (+3.8%). Used car dealers (+2.7%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.2%) also posted higher sales. Sales at other motor vehicle dealers (-1.4%) were down for the third month in a row.
  • Sales at general merchandise stores (+1.4%) were up for the third consecutive month.
  • Electronics and appliance stores (+3.1%) continued their upward trend in March.
  • Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+1.0%) and furniture and home furnishings stores (+0.8%) both increased for the sixth time in seven months. Housing gains are  helping those sectors
  • On the downside, as a result of lower prices for food purchased from stores, lower receipts were reported at food and beverage stores (-0.7%). This decrease was due in large part to weaker sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.6%) and, to a lesser extent, convenience stores (-2.9%).
  • Health and personal cares stores were down -0.8%
  • Gasoline store sales were down -0.9%
  • Clothing was also a weak spot down -2.7% 

Overall a pretty good report if you look at the ex auto.  It seems people are spending money on the big ticket items (home and cars), and cutting back on the smaller items like clothing, personal care, and even food purchases.  Will those big ticket items slow down the road too?  Time will tell.