Canadian retail sales declined 0.1 per cent on a monthly basis in August, but were 3.6 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis. Retail sales were lower in 7 of 11 sub-sectors representing 52 per cent of total retail trade. After a spending binge in 2017 which saw retail sales grow nearly ten per cent, BC consumers have closed their wallets this year. BC retail sales declined 0.1 per cent on a monthly basis in August and were just 1.3 per cent higher year-over-year.
Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), registered 2.2 per cent in the 12 months to September, down from the nearly 3 per cent rate recorded in July and August. The Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation softened slightly in September, but still remain at or near the Bank's two per cent target. In BC, provincial consumer price inflation was 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to September. Although inflation numbers have softened slightly, it is still widely expected that the Bank of Canada will raise its overnight rate at its next meeting on October 24.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.