LBM Industry Drives Retail Sales


Retail sales were up 3.6 per cent to $57.6 billion in March, led by higher sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers and clothing and clothing accessories stores, says Statistics Canada. Sales increased in 10 of 11 subsectors, representing 79.1 per cent of retail trade. Core retail sales ‒ which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers ‒ rose 4.7 per cent. In volume terms, retail sales increased 3.2 per cent in March. Retail sales were up 1.8 per cent in the first quarter – the third consecutive quarterly increase. In volume terms, quarterly sales were up 0.5 per cent. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 19.8 per cent. This was the largest increase since May 2020 and coincided with warmer-than-typical March weather and the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions in some areas of the country. Sales were up in six provinces in March, with Ontario accounting for the majority of the increase. In Ontario, sales rose nine per cent on higher sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers. This was the largest monthly increase in Ontario since June 2020, when sales were up 32.3 per cent.