Canadian retail sales fell at the fastest pace in more than five years in December, on reduced holiday shopping and as a late start to winter snowfall curbed vehicle purchases.
Sales decreased 2.2 percent to C$43.2 billion ($31.4 billion), Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The decline exceeded all 20 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey that had a median estimate of a 0.9 percent fall.
Motor vehicle and parts sales fell 3.9 percent to C$11 billion, including a 6.7 percent drop in the “other motor vehicle dealers” category that includes snowmobiles.
Sales declined in 10 of 11 categories marking 97 percent of total sales. General merchandise receipts fell 2.2 percent and at clothing stores they declined 3.6 percent.