Retail Sales Increase For Fifth Month

Retail sales rose 1.1 per cent to $53.9 billion in September, the fifth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April, says Statistics Canada. Core retail sales ‒ which excludes gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers ‒ also rose 1.1 per cent, on higher sales at general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores. Retail sales were up in nine of 11 subsectors, representing 93.2 per cent of retail trade. Core retail sales rose at almost three times the pace (+1.1 per cent) in September compared with August (+0.4 per cent), led by the first increase at general merchandise stores (+1.8 per cent) in three months. Retail sales bounced back at furniture and home furnishings stores (+4.5 per cent) following a two per cent decrease in August. On an unadjusted basis, retail eCommerce sales reached $3.2 billion in September, accounting for 5.6 per cent of total retail trade. The share of eCommerce sales out of total retail sales rose 0.5 percentage points from August ‒ despite more retailers expanding in-person shopping in accordance with public health measures and was up 2.1 percentage points year over year.