OTTAWA – Retail sales increased 0.1 per cent to $65.9 billion in June. Sales increased in three of nine subsectors and were led by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+2.5 per cent).
Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers—were down 0.9 per cent in June.
In volume terms, retail sales edged down 0.2 per cent in June.
Retail sales were unchanged in the second quarter, while in volume terms, retail sales declined 0.8 per cent in the second quarter.
Sales At Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers Rise
Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+2.5 per cent) were up on the strength of higher sales at new car dealers (+2.9 per cent) in June, their third consecutive monthly increase. This was followed by higher sales at other motor vehicle dealers (+5.9 per cent). Gains at used car dealers (+0.9 per cent) were more than offset by lower sales at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (-3.3 per cent).
Retail sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors rose 0.3 per cent on higher prices at the pump in June. In volume terms, sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors declined 1.4 per cent.
Core Retail Sales Down for Second Consecutive Month
Core retail sales (-0.9 per cent) were down in June. Within the core retail subsectors, the largest sales declines were seen at general merchandise retailers (-1.4 per cent) and food and beverage retailers (-0.9 per cent). The decline at food and beverage retailers was primarily due to lower sales at beer, wine, and liquor retailers (-2.8 per cent). Following six months of consecutive monthly increases, receipts at supermarkets and other grocery retailers (-0.4 per cent) slowed in June.
Sales Up In Four Provinces
Retail sales increased in four provinces in June, led by higher sales in Ontario (+1.7 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, Quebec (+1.3 per cent).
In Ontario (+1.7 per cent), retail sales were up in June on the strength of higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. In the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto, retail sales were up 1.6 per cent.
After decreasing 1.6 per cent in May, retail sales in Quebec rose 1.3 per cent in June. In the CMA of Montréal, retail sales were up 2.2 per cent.
Following three consecutive monthly gains, retail sales in British Columbia (-4.8 per cent) declined in June as lower sales were reported at motor vehicle and parts dealers. In the CMA of Vancouver, retail sales were down 3.1 per cent.
Retail E-commerce Sales in Canada
On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were up 1.1 per cent to $3.7 billion in June, accounting for 5.7 per cent of total retail trade, compared with 5.6 per cent in May.
Advance Retail Indicator
Statistics Canada is providing an advance estimate of retail sales, which suggests that sales increased 0.4 per cent in July. Owing to its early nature, this figure will be revised. This unofficial estimate was calculated based on responses received from 45.4 per cent of companies surveyed. The average final response rate for the survey over the previous 12 months was 89.0 per cent.
Business Examiner Submitted/statcan.gc.ca