Retail Sales Slide For Second Month

Retail sales fell for the second consecutive month, down 1.1 per cent to $52.5 billion in January, says Statistics Canada. Sales declined in six of 11 subsectors, representing 39.4 per cent of retail sales. Core retail sales ‒ which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers ‒ also posted their second consecutive decline, falling 1.4 per cent in January because of lower sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores, furniture and home furnishings stores, and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores. Sales at general merchandise stores ‒ many of which are considered essential ‒ increased by 3.3 per cent in January after falling in December. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers also posted gains (2.9 per cent) in January, following a decrease in December. Sales declined in two provinces in January: Quebec and Ontario.