Canadian retail sales rose 0.6% in November from October to C$41B, the fourth increase in five months, driven by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, electronics and appliance stores; gains observed in nine of 11 subsectors: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , January 23, 2014 (press release) – Retail sales rose 0.6% in November to $41.0 billion, the fourth increase in five months. This increase was largely attributable to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as electronics and appliance stores.

Gains were observed in 9 of 11 subsectors, accounting for 72% of retail trade. Weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday.

In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.8%.

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

Chart description: Retail sales increase in November

CSV version of chart 1

Retail sales rise in November

A 1.2% increase at motor vehicle and parts dealers accounted for the largest sales gain among all subsectors. Sales were up 0.6% at new car dealers. Early winter snowfalls across much of the country influenced sales of seasonal items at other motor vehicle dealers (+5.5%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+4.2%).

After increasing 3.0% in October, sales at electronics and appliance stores (+6.4%) advanced for the second consecutive month on the strength of new product releases.

November's 1.0% increase in sales at gasoline stations did not offset October's decline.

General merchandise store receipts rose 0.8% in November, a fourth increase in five months. Sales at department stores (+3.5%) more than offset a decline in sales at other general merchandise stores (-1.4%).

Colder weather and earlier than normal winter snowfalls advanced the purchase of winter merchandise at clothing and clothing accessories stores (+1.1%).

Following three consecutive monthly gains, receipts at food and beverage stores declined 1.1% in November. The decrease was largely attributable to lower sales at supermarkets and grocery stores (-1.4%) and to a lesser extent convenience stores (-2.0%).

Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.5%) were down for the second consecutive month.

Sales up in seven provinces

Retail sales rose in seven provinces in November.

British Columbia (+1.4%) reported the largest increase in dollar terms, in part due to higher sales at department stores. This was the third gain in four months.

In Quebec (+0.9%), sales advanced for the third straight month.

Higher clothing, footwear and accessories sales contributed to a 0.4% increase in Ontario.

Retail sales in Saskatchewan (+1.0%) increased for the third time in four months.

Lower sales were reported in the Atlantic provinces, with the exception of Nova Scotia (+0.2%), where sales rose for the eighth time in nine months.

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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