June Retail Sales Up 23.7 Per Cent

Retail sales were up 23.7 per cent in June to $53 billion, says Statistics Canada. After three months of sales below pre-pandemic levels, retail sales in June were 1.3 per cent higher than February levels as more regions moved ahead with plans to reopen their economies. Sales were up in all subsectors, with growth primarily led by motor vehicle and parts dealers, as well as clothing and clothing accessories stores. Furniture and home furnishing stores (+70.9 per cent); building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+13 per cent); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+64.9 per cent) all posted sales that exceeded their February levels. Rounding out the second quarter, retail sales were down 13.3 per cent compared with the first quarter. In volume terms, quarterly retail sales were down 12.4 per cent. In comparison, retail sales in the U.S. increased 8.9 per cent in June. Similar to Canada, sales were driven by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers and clothing and clothing accessories stores. Given the rapidly-evolving economic situation, Statistics Canada is providing an advance estimate of July sales. Early estimates suggest that retail sales increased by 0.7 per cent in July.