Retail Trade, April 2016, published June 22

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Retail Trade, April 2016, published June 22

Retail sales in April were $44.3 billion, up 0.9% from March and an increase of 4.6% from April 2015.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 4.7% from April 2015.

Retail sales in volume terms were virtually unchanged from the 1.3% decline posted in March.  Increases in month-over-month sales were reported in 7 of 11 sectors representing 64% of retail trade.  April 2016 sales over April 2015 were up in all provinces.  Prince Edward Island experienced the largest monthly gain (+8.2%), followed by British Columbia (+7.9%) and Manitoba (+7.1%).  The year-over-year gain in Ontario was 5.5% while Quebec recorded an annualized gain of 3.8%.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in April were $2.8 billion, up 1.6% from March and an 8.3% gain from April 2015.  This was the 26th straight annualized increase for the industry.  It was the third monthly gain in the past four months.  The main product type sold in this sector is lumber and other building materials, accounting for about 40% of total sales.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales decline by 0.3% from March but increase by 8.4% from April 2015.  Gasoline station sales were up 6.0% from March, the largest monthly gain since February 2015,  but  fell by 4.5% from April 2015.

Sales at food and beverage stores were up 0.1% from March to April and grew by 1.6% from April 2015 to April 2016.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores were unchanged from a month earlier but were up 0.1% from April 2015.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 5.7% in April 2016 over April 2015.

General merchandise stores sales increased 1.3% from March and were 6.1%  higher than in April 2015, standing at $5.7 billion.  “General merchandise stores” include department stores,  warehouse clubs, superstores and home and auto supplies stores and account for 12% of total retail sales.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 6.1% from March at $1.5 billion and increased 6.7% from April 2015.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores decreased 0.3% from March to $1.2 billion.  They were up 4.4% from April 2015.  Sales at health and personal care stores grew 0.4% from March to $3.4 billion.  They were up 8.1% from April 2015.