Canada's retail sales reached C$64.5B in July, up 6.1% year-over-year; largest contribution to increase came from higher sales of automotive and household fuels, up 39.1% year-over-year: Statistics Canada

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OTTAWA , October 7, 2022 (press release) –

Retail sales reached $64.5 billion in July, an increase of 6.1% compared with the same month in 2021. Higher sales were reported in 13 of the 19 commodity classes.

The advance estimate provided by the Monthly Retail Trade Survey suggests that unadjusted total retail sales increased by 8.4% in August. Because of its preliminary nature, this figure will be revised.

Fuel sales remain high while motor vehicle sales fall behind
The largest increase of commodity classes in dollar terms came from higher sales of automotive and household fuels (+39.1%). Sales of automotive fuels posted their 17th consecutive monthly year-over-year increase in July, rising by 39.1% compared with July 2021. With gasoline prices rising at a slower pace year over year, July 2022 marks the first month-over-month decrease this year in gasoline sales (-8.8%) when compared with June.

Sales of motor vehicles fell by 2.3% in July, the class's first year-over-year decrease in three months. Leading the declines were sales of new motor vehicles (-7.6%), particularly lower receipts of new passenger automobiles (-33.0%), followed by new minivans, sport utility vehicles and light trucks (-1.9%). Sales of used motor vehicles (+4.9%) partially offset the decline, with higher reported sales from used minivans, sport utility vehicles and light trucks (+10.2%).

Increases in food sales persist
Sales of food posted a fourth consecutive year-over-year increase (+6.9%) in July. The largest contributor to sales growth in this class came from higher sales of fresh food (+5.6%), packaged food dry goods (+6.5%) and frozen food (+17.8%). Sales of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages increased by 1.4%, despite the decline in sales of alcoholic beverages (-2.4%) partially offsetting the gains.

Hardware and clothing sales on the rise
Sales of hardware, tools, and renovation and lawn and garden products increased in July (+8.1%). This increase was led by sales of lumber and other renovation materials and supplies (+8.0%), as well as hardware and renovation-related products not elsewhere classified (+28.4%).

Receipts from sales of clothing (+11.2%) remained strong. Three out of four subclasses posted gains, led by men's clothing (+19.7%). Meanwhile, sales of footwear decreased by 3.5% in July when compared with the same month in 2021.

Note to readers
The Retail Commodity Survey collects national-level retail sales data, by commodity, from the same businesses surveyed in the Monthly Retail Trade Survey. No data have been seasonally adjusted. All percentage changes are year-over-year.

Starting with the May 2022 release of February data, estimates for the Monthly Retail Trade Survey are being calculated using a new sample. The sample is periodically refreshed to reflect the evolution of the target population since the last sample was drawn. The change is reflected on the Business Register through births, deaths and reclassifications to the survey population. The sample design has also been modified to be more efficient and to allow an increased use of administrative data sources.

Regular annual revisions for 2021 and 2020 and typical historical revisions were also included in the new data series.

The data have been revised using historical linkage factors designed to preserve the continuity of the time series. This linkage method leads to larger revisions for more recent periods.

New retail commodity data for e-commerce now available
Estimates from the Retail Commodity Survey are now available for the electronic shopping and mail-order houses industry (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] code 454110).

E-commerce figures from brick-and-mortar retailers are included with the retailer's commodity sales. If the online operations of a brick-and-mortar retailer are separately managed, they are classified under NAICS code 45411 (electronic shopping and mail-order houses). Businesses commonly referred to as pure-play Internet retailers are also classified under NAICS code 45411. Total retail sales figures do not include sales from retailers classified under NAICS code 45411.

Find more statistics on retail trade.

Contact information
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: This press release omits select charts and/or marketing language for editorial clarity. Click here to view the full report.

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