Retail Sales Continue Climb

Retail sales rose at their fastest pace since September, up 1.3 per cent to $55.2 billion in November, says Statistics Canada. This was the seventh consecutive monthly gain. The increase was led by higher sales at food and beverage stores, along with an uptick in eCommerce sales. Core retail sales – which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers – rose 2.6 per cent on higher sales at food and beverage (5.9 per cent) and general merchandise (1.6 per cent) stores. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 2.2 per cent, increasing for the fourth consecutive month. Sales were up in seven of 11 subsectors, representing 53.4 per cent of retail trade. In volume terms, retail sales rose 1.2 per cent in November. On an unadjusted basis, retail eCommerce sales reached $4.3 billion in November, accounting for 7.4 per cent of total retail trade – the largest share since May.