Retail Sales See Large Increase

Retail sales reached $54.6 billion in April, an increase of 58.7 per cent compared to the same month a year prior, says Statistics Canada. This marked the largest increase on record for the sector, largely attributable to the sharp declines seen at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Higher sales were reported in 18 of the 19 commodity categories. For the second consecutive month, sales of motor vehicles led all gains in the sector, with a record increase of 211.7 per cent in the month of April. Canadians also continued to spend on products to be enjoyed around the house, with home hardware categories leading the growth. These categories include renovation materials and supplies (81 per cent) and home lawn and garden equipment and supplies (106.1 per cent). Home appliances (56.6 per cent), home electronics (26.5 per cent), and outdoor home furniture (97.8 per cent) also posted strong sales in the month.