Demand For Home Improvement Products Remains Strong

Retail sales totaled $56.8 billion in December, up 4.5 per cent compared with the same month the previous year, says Statistics Canada. This was the sector's seventh consecutive year-over-year increase and higher sales were reported in 13 of the 19 commodity categories. Products associated with home improvement projects continued to be in demand, with renovation materials and supplies (+28.1 per cent), major home appliances (+47.5 per cent), and hardware and tools (+31.6 per cent) posting strong sales increases compared with the same month a year before. Despite limitations by certain provinces on social gatherings during the holiday season, consumers continued to spend on Christmas-related decorations, with sales of decorative home furnishings up nine per cent. Higher sales were also seen for live plants, seeds, and other home and garden supplies (+39.8 per cent), in part as a result of higher sales of real Christmas trees.