Canadian retail sales rise 0.6% in July from June to C$40.3B, climb 0.5% in volume terms, led by higher sales at gasoline stations; sales have been trending upward since start of year: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , September 24, 2013 (press release) – Retail sales rose 0.6% in July to $40.3 billion, led by higher sales at gasoline stations. Sales have been trending upwards since the beginning of 2013. Gains were reported in 8 of the 11 subsectors, representing 52% of total retail trade.

In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.5%, a fourth increase in five months.

Chart 1 
Retail sales increase in July
Line chart – Chart 1: Retail sales increase in July, from July 2008 to July 2013

The largest sales gain among all subsectors was a 3.2% increase at gasoline stations. Higher prices at the pumps and more volume sold contributed to the increase. This was the third consecutive month of higher sales at gasoline stations.

General merchandise store receipts rose 1.1% in July, a third increase in four months. Sales at "other general merchandise stores" advanced 1.2% and more than offset the decline in June. Department store sales increased 0.9%.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores reported a 1.9% sales gain. Higher receipts at clothing stores (+2.7%) and shoe stores (+0.8%) contributed to the increase.

Sales at health and personal care stores (+0.6%) rose for the fifth consecutive month. According to the Consumer Price Index for July, prices in the health and personal care component have been declining, mainly as a result of falling prices for prescribed medicines.

Following six straight monthly gains, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 0.6% in July. Lower sales at new car dealers (-1.2%) more than offset increased sales at used car dealers (+3.2%), other motor vehicle dealers (+1.1%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.1%).

Receipts at food and beverage stores (-0.3%) declined in July for the fourth time in five months. Supermarkets and other grocery store sales decreased 0.6% and more than offset gains in the other store types within this subsector.

Ontario and Quebec lead provinces in sales growth

Sales rose in six provinces in July. The largest gains in dollar terms occurred in Ontario (+1.5%) and Quebec (+1.3%).

Newfoundland and Labrador retailers saw their sales rise 1.3% in July, the fith gain in six months.

Sales edged up 0.1% in Alberta, following a 0.5% decline in June.

Retailers in Manitoba reported a 4.1% decrease in sales, offsetting three consecutive monthly gains. The provincial government of Manitoba implemented a one percentage point increase in the Provincial Sales Tax rate, which took effect July 1.

Following three consecutive monthly gains, retail sales in Saskatchewan fell 1.9% in July, in part as a result of lower sales at new car dealers.

It is possible to consult tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory in the Tables by subject module of our website.

For information on related indicators, refer to the Latest statistics page on our website.

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