Retail Sales in Canada Unexpectedly Jump in November


Canadian retail sales continued to beat estimates in November before tighter Covid-19 restrictions took hold.

Receipts increased 1.3% in November from the previous month, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, led by food, beverage and online sales. Economists were expecting sales to be unchanged.

Retail sales rebounded quickly after collapsing in April, and have held up better than expected since then, given the massive government income support measures. It’s unclear how long the strength will last, given the recent surge in virus cases and renewed restrictions in many provinces. A preliminary estimate for December shows sales dropped 2.6%.

Retail Sales in Canada Unexpectedly Jump in November

But even with the decline in December, retail sales would still be 2.9% above February levels. Monthly average retail sales in 2020 were only 1.3% below 2019 levels.

Receipts rose in 7 of 11 sub sectors.

Excluding vehicles, retail sales in November climbed 2.1%, versus a forecast for a 0.3% increase.

Vehicle sales dropped 0.9%.

In volume terms, total sales were up 1.2%.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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