Canadian retail sales rose 0.2 per cent on a monthly basis in September, led by sales in food and beverage stores. Retail sales were higher in 6 of 11 sub-sectors representing 75 per cent of total retail trade. In BC, retail sales were unchanged on a monthly basis in September and were only 0.7 per cent higher year-over-year. Provincial retail sales were dragged lower by a nearly 3 per cent year-over-year decline in retail spending in the Metro Vancouver area.
Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), accelerated in October to 2.4 per cent after recording 2.2 per cent in September. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation ticked slightly higher as well with two of the three measures at or above the Bank's 2 per cent target. In BC, provincial consumer price inflation was 3 per cent in the 12 months to October. Given an uptick in inflation, there is a higher probability of a rate increase by the Bank of Canada at its next meeting in December, though we still expect the Bank to hold off until early in the new year.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.