Retail sales rose 0.7% to $39.0 billion in July, more than offsetting the decline in June. Gains were reported in 8 of 11 subsectors, representing 72% of total retail trade. The increase was led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, and general merchandise stores.
In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.6%.
Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers increased 1.7% in July. Higher receipts at new car dealers (+1.7%) accounted for most of this gain. This was the first notable increase at new car dealers since the peak in January 2012. Sales in the “other motor vehicle dealers” industry, which includes retailers of recreational vehicles, motorcycles and boats, increased 2.8% after three consecutive monthly declines.
General merchandise stores registered a 1.5% increase. Department store sales rose 2.9%, more than offsetting the decline in June.
Following three consecutive monthly declines, sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers increased 1.9%.
Gasoline stations reported a 0.7% sales gain following declines the previous two months.
Furniture and home furnishings store sales rose 2.1%. Sales in this subsector have remained relatively unchanged since the end of 2011.
Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores edged up 0.2%. Gains at jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores (+4.1%) and shoe stores (+3.4%) were partially offset by a 0.7% decline in sales at clothing stores.
Receipts at food and beverage stores declined 0.9% in July after rising in May and June. Lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-1.3%) accounted for most of the decline. Beer, wine and liquor store sales declined for a second consecutive month, decreasing 0.5%.
Sales at electronics and appliance stores (-1.7%) declined for the third time in four months. Sales in this subsector have been on a downward trend since the end of 2011.
Sales up in all provinces
Retail sales increased in all provinces in July. The largest contribution to the national gain in dollar terms occurred in Quebec (+1.0%), where sales rose for a second month in a row.
Alberta registered a 1.4% sales gain, more than offsetting the decline in June.
British Columbia retailers reported a 0.7% increase in July. Sales in this province have been relatively flat since the beginning of 2012.
Continuing an upward trend, retail sales in Saskatchewan increased for a sixth consecutive month, rising 1.2% in July.
Retail sales in Ontario (+0.1%) were relatively unchanged from June.
Note to readers
All the data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-010- x/2010003/part-partie3-eng.htm) .
Total retail sales expressed in volume are calculated by deflating current dollar values using consumer price indexes. The retail sales series in chained (2007) dollars is a chained Fisher volume index with 2007 as the reference year.
Data published this month on total retail sales in volume, including the chain Fisher volume index, have been revised from January 2004 onward to reflect methodological enhancements. In addition, the reference year has changed from 2002 to 2007 for these volume data. For more information, see Sales in volume for Retail Trade (http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb- bmdi/document/2406_D13_T9_V1-eng.htm) .
The old table 080-0021 has been replaced by CANSIM table 080-0024. Data for July 2012 as well as data from January 2004 are now available in this new CANSIM table.
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