Canadian retail sales declined 0.9 per cent on a monthly basis in November as lower sales at gas stations and a decline in motor vehicle sales dragged overall retail sales lower. Excluding those subsectors, retail sales were up 0.2 per cent. In BC, retail sales were up 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis, however, consumer spending continues to moderate compared to 2017 with retail sales up only 0.1 per cent year-over-year.
Slowing retail sales, ongoing softness in the Canadian housing market and risks to global growth from an escalated US-China trade war should result in the Bank of Canada remaining sidelined in 2019. That should translate to lower mortgage rates as bond markets adjust expectations for Canadian monetary policy.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.