Retail Sales Rise First Time In Three Months

Retail sales were up 4.8 per cent to $55.1 billion in February, says Statistics Canada. Sales increased in nine of 11 subsectors, led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations. Core retail sales ‒ which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers ‒ rose for the first time in three months, increasing 3.8 per cent in February from January on higher sales at general merchandise stores and at clothing and clothing accessories stores. Sales for building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were $4.2 billion, up 29 per cent over sales of $3.3 billion in February of last year, leading year-over-year sales behind only the cannabis sector. In volume terms, retail sales increased 4.3 per cent in February. Sales were up in six provinces in February, with Quebec and Ontario leading the gain. Retail eCommerce sales were up 92 per cent year over year to $3.1 billion in February, accounting for 6.8 per cent of total retail trade. The share of eCommerce out of total retail sales was 1.3 percentage points lower in February, as more brick-and-mortar stores were allowed to open their doors to in-person shopping.