Canadian Retail sales drop 0.1% in March 2014Friday, May 23, 2014 > 09:25:38
Following gains in January and February, retail sales edged down 0.1% in March to $41.1 billion. Sales were lower at motor vehicle and parts dealers and clothing and clothing accessories stores. However, these declines were largely offset by gains at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores.
Sales declined in 7 of 11 subsectors representing 59% of retail trade.
In volume terms, retail sales decreased 0.2%.
Lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers
Among all subsectors, motor vehicle and parts dealers contributed the most in dollar terms to the decrease in March, with sales declining 0.7%. Sales were down at new car dealers (-0.6%), other motor vehicle dealers (-3.7%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (-2.2%). Higher receipts were reported at used car dealers (+3.1%), where sales have been trending up since mid-2013.
Retail sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores (-1.4%) decreased for the third time in four months. After increasing in February in all store types within the subsector, sales fell at clothing stores (-1.4%) and shoe stores (-5.3%), which more than offset the 2.1% advance at jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores.
Lower sales were reported at miscellaneous store retailers (-2.0%).
Following a 1.2% gain in February, general merchandise store sales edged down 0.3% as both department stores (-0.4%) and other general merchandise stores (-0.3%) posted lower sales.
Higher receipts were recorded at gasoline stations (+0.8%) for a fifth consecutive month.
Sales at food and beverage stores rose 0.4% on the strength of supermarkets and other grocery stores (+0.4%). Higher sales at beer, wine and liquor stores (+0.4%) and convenience stores (+0.9%) also contributed to the increase.
Sales at electronics and appliance stores (+1.7%) advanced for the third consecutive month.
Furniture and home furnishing stores posted a 1.2% increase as home furnishings stores sales (+2.7%) rose for the third consecutive month. The growth in March at home furnishings stores came mainly from sales of items such as housewares, beddings and home decorations.
Sales decrease in five provinces
Retail sales were down in five provinces in March. Higher sales in the western provinces were offset by lower sales in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Ontario (-0.6%) reported the largest decrease in dollar terms, following two months of advances.
In Quebec (-0.8%), sales declined for the third time in four months, largely as a result of lower sales at new car dealers.
Lower sales were posted in New Brunswick (-4.1%). The decline in March was principally attributable to lower sales at new car dealers, following an increase in February.
Retail sales in Alberta (+1.1%) advanced for the third consecutive month. The advance in March occurred on the strength of higher sales at new and used car dealers.
British Columbia reported a 1.1% increase from higher sales at building, material and garden equipment and supplies dealers.