Canadian Retail Sales Fall

23 August 2012 15:30 - Which Way to Pay

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Canadian Retail Sales Fall

Canadian retail sales fell unexpectedly in June dropping 0.4% from May. Statistics Canada said broad-based weakness across sectors and across the country were seen confirming a weaker trend in consumer spending that will likely affect overall growth in the second quarter. The figures which were well below expectations are the latest to suggest that consumer spending is slowing down which is causing concern as its one of the main supports for Canada’s economy since the 2008 crisis.

Declining sales were seen in 7 of the 11 subsectors, representing 64% of retail sales. Sales volume dropped by 0.1%. General merchandise store receipts were down 1.5%, gas station sales fell by 1.3% because of lower prices and sales at motor vehicles and parts dealers dropped 0.4%.

Benjamin Reitzes, BMO Capital Markets senior economist said, “The surprise drop in June sales was broad-based, suggesting household are becoming a little more cautious, though cross-border shopping may have played a role as well.” He added, “The constant haranguing by policymakers urging households to borrow more cautiously, along with slowing job growth, has prompted some restraint.”

The weakness in retail sales has caused concern about second-quarter growth forecasts from the Bank of Canada which has said the economy will grow at 1.8% annualized rate in April-to June period.

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