Retail Trade, August 2014, published October 22

Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

Retail sales in August were $42.4 billion, a decrease of 0.3% from July but up 4.4% from August 2013.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 3.4%  from August 2013.

Retail sales in volume terms were down 0.1% from July.  Decreases in month-over-month sales were reported in 7 of 11 sectors representing 76% of retail trade.  August 2014 sales over August 2013 were  up in all provinces.  Alberta led the way with an 8.0% sales gain, followed by British Columbia (+5.8%) and New Brunswick (+5.2%).   Quebec recorded a 2.3% gain over August 2013, while Ontario’s annualized gain in August was 3.7%.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in August were $2.4 billion, down 1.8% from July but a 1.0% gain from July 2013.  This was the fifth straight annualized increase for the industry. It was the first monthly loss after four straight monthly gains.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales fall 0.4% from July but grow by 8.1% from August 2013.  Gasoline station sales were down 2.1% from July.  This was the second straight loss following nine consecutive monthly increases.  Gasoline station sales grew by 2.8% from August 2013.

Sales at food and beverage stores were down 0.4% from July to August but grew by 0.2% from August 2013 to August 2014.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores decreased 0.4% from a month earlier and were down 0.8% from August 2013.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 1.5% in August 2014 over August 2013.

General merchandise stores sales increased 1.8% from July and were 7.4% higher than in August 2013, standing at $5.4 billion.  “General merchandise stores” include department stores,  warehouse clubs, superstores and home and auto supplies stores and account for 12% of total retail sales.  Department store sales gained 1.0% from July and were up 4.8% from August 2013.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were down 1.8% from July at $1.4 billion and increased 6.6% from August 2013.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores gained 1.1% from July to $1.2 billion.  They were up 3.6% from August 2013.  Sales at health and personal care stores lost 0.3% from July to $3.1 billion.  They were up 6.2% from August 2013.