Retail Sales Up For Sixth Consecutive Month

Retail sales edged up 0.4 per cent to $54.6 billion in October, marking the sixth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April, says Statistics Canada. The sales growth was led by motor vehicle and parts dealers. Core retail sales ‒ which excludes gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers ‒ edged up 0.3 per cent, on higher sales at sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+11.8 per cent); furniture and home furnishings stores (+6.6 per cent); and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.9 per cent). Retail sales increased in six of 11 subsectors, representing 50.9 per cent of retail trade. Sales were up in seven provinces led by British Columbia where sales rose 2.1 per cent, with health and personal care stores, as well as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers both contributing the most to the increase. However, sales in Ontario (-0.4 per cent) fell for the first time since April, coinciding with a record number of COVID-19 cases and stricter public health measures within the province.