Canadian retail sales declined in May by 0.1% to $51.5 billion, following a 0.2% gain in the previous month. This marks the third consecutive quarter of no growth. Retail sales were down in 4 of 11 subsectors in May, represening 39% of retail sales. The main contributor to the decline was sales at food and beverage stores. Retail sales were down in eight provinces with monthly gains only reported in Quebec (0.9%) and Ontario (0.5%).
In B.C., retail sales declined 0.2% from the previous month to $7.2 billion. Meanwhile, a gain of 0.9% was reported in Vancouver. Provincial sales were down in health and personal care, electronics and appliance stores, and at funiture stores. In contrast, sales were up at gas stations. On a year-over-year basis, B.C. retail sales were flat in May.
Although retail sales were down in May, we can expect modest growth going forward, supported by a solid labour market, wage gains and reduced borrowing costs.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.