Friday, March 22, 2019 - 08:35

MNI DATA IMPACT: Canada Jan Retail Sales -0.3%,Below Expected

By Courtney Tower

OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the January data on retail sales released Friday by Statistics Canada:

- Canadian retail sales decreased 0.3% to C$50.1 billion in January, largely on a 1.5% drop in sales of motor vehicles and parts and essentially due to price changes rather than volume changes. Analysts in a MNI survey and in a BBG consensus had expected a 0.4% gain. The estimate for December was revised down to -0.3% from -0.1%.

- Retail sales excluding motor vehicles and parts were up 0.1%. And total sales by volume were unchanged.

- The decrease in total sales for the third straight month had not been seen since the three-month decline in April-June 2012. Decreases were concentrated in four sub-sectors of retail trade, including motor vehicles and parts, as well as gasoline stations (-0.4%), representing 52% of retail trade. Sales excluding gasoline stations were down 0.3%, and sales excluding gasoline stations and auto and parts rose 0.2%.

- In real terms, however, retail sales decreased in only two subsectors: autos and parts (-1.2%), and general merchandise (-2.6%). Sales at gasoline stations rose 1.9%.

- On a 12-month basis, retail sales were up 1.1% and in volume terms were up 1.8%. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, sales rose 0.6%, but were up 1.7% in volume.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email:


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