Retail Trade, May 2016, published July 22

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Featured | Comments Off on Retail Trade, May 2016, published July 22

Retail sales in May were $44.3 billion, up 0.2% from April and an increase of 3.6% from May 2015.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 4.5% from May 2015.

Retail sales in volume terms were up 0.1% from April.  Increases in month-over-month sales were reported in 6 of 11 sectors representing 51% of retail trade.  May 2016 sales over May 2015 were up in eight provinces.  British Columbia experienced the largest monthly gain (+6.5%), followed by Manitoba (+6.2%) and Quebec (+5.0%).  The year-over-year gain in Ontario was 4.1%.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in May were $2.7 billion, down 0.7% from April but a 3.3% gain from May 2015.  This was the 27th straight annualized increase for the industry.  It was the second monthly loss in the past five 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 2.0% from April but increase by 5.3% from May 2015.  Gasoline station sales were up 2.3% from April but  fell by 5.1% from May 2015.

Sales at food and beverage stores were up 2.1% from April to May and grew by 2.9% from May 2015 to May 2016.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores increased by 1.6% from a month earlier and were up 1.1% from May 2015.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 11.1% in May 2016 over May 2015.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 0.5% from April but were 5.3%  higher than in May 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 down 3.5% from April at $1.4 billion but increased 2.5% from May 2015.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 0.8% from April to $1.2 billion.  They were up 1.7% from May 2015.  Sales at health and personal care stores grew 0.3% from April to $3.4 billion.  They were up 8.3% from May 2015.