Canadian retail sales rose in February after posting three consecutive monthly declines. Retail spending increased 0.8 per cent to $50.6 billion as 5 of 11 retail sub-sectors representing 73 per cent of the retail sector reported higher sales. In BC, retail sales declined 1.9 per cent on a monthly basis, largely the result of declining sales at new car dealers, though sales at building material and garden equipment suppliers was also down, a product of lower home sales in the province. On a year-over-year basis, BC retail sales were flat.
Given all available data for the first quarter of 2019, we are currently tracking Canadian economic growth at about 1.5 per cent. That's compared to just 0.4 per cent growth in the previous quarter but still below estimates of long-run trend growth.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.