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Black Friday pushes Canada抯 retail sales to record high as inflation drops to 9-month lowMonday, January 26, 2015 > 09:50:25
Canadian retail sales unexpectedly rose by 0.4% in November to a record high $43.03 billion, pushed up in part by promotions such as Black Friday, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
Market operators had expected a 0.2% decline from October. The previous high was $42.86 billion recorded in September.
Statscan said unseasonably cold weather and the timing of new product releases had also helped boost sales. Canadian stores have recently started following the example of the United States, where retailers cut prices on Black Friday, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving.
Although sales at clothing and footwear stores rose by 5.2% and electronic and appliance stores posted a 4.6% advance, gains were only reported in five of 11 subsectors, representing 27% of retail trade.
The three largest subsectors – motor vehicles and parts dealers, food and beverage stores and gasoline stations – all posted slight declines from October.
Meanwhile, lower gasoline costs pulled down the Canadian annual inflation rate in December to a nine-month low, Statistics Canada said on Friday, two days after the Bank of Canada cut interest rates due to slumping oil prices.
The annualized rate in December dropped to 1.5% from 2.0% in November, which is the midpoint of the Bank of Canada’s 1 to 3% target range. The rate of inflation — the lowest since the 1.5% recorded in March 2014 — matched market expectations.
The central bank shocked markets on Wednesday by cutting rates on the grounds that slumping crude prices threatened both its inflation target and economic growth.
A 16.6% drop in gasoline prices was the main reason for a slower yearly rise in overall inflation to December. Prices increased in seven of the eight major components in the consumer price index.
Core inflation, which strips out the prices of some volatile items and is closely watched by the Bank of Canada, increased to 2.2% from 2.1%.
On a monthly basis, overall inflation dropped 0.7% while the core measure declined 0.3%.