July Retail Sales Up 4.8 Per Cent

Retail sales reached $57.2 billion dollars in July, up 4.8 per cent compared with the same month a year prior, says Statistics Canada. This marked the second consecutive increase in year-over-year sales for the sector as COVID-19 restrictions eased and regions across the country continued to reopen. Higher sales were reported in 12 of the 19 commodity categories. Even with COVID-19 restrictions easing across the country, Canadians continued to eat at home more, with sales of food showing the largest year-over-year increase (+12.1 per cent) for the fifth consecutive month. Food and beverage sales accounted for just over one-quarter (25.9 per cent) of all retail receipts in July, up from 24.1 per cent the previous year. Consumers also continued to spend on items around the house, led by strong growth in sales of hardware and renovation supplies (+83.3 per cent), major home appliances (+20.2 per cent), and small home appliances (+41.3 per cent). Enjoying the summer weather, consumers had higher than normal spending on products to be enjoyed outdoors, including recreational vehicles (+47.3 per cent) and sporting and leisure categories (+29.8 per cent). Leading the increase in these categories were new recreational boats (+58.2 per cent), new motor homes, travel trailers and truck campers (+47.4 per cent), and hunting, fishing, and camping equipment (+40.2 per cent).