February Retail Sales Grow

Retail sales reached $48 billion in February, an increase of 7.3 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier, says Statistics Canada’s ‘Retail Commodity Survey.’ Higher sales were reported in 15 of the 19 commodity classes with the largest increase in dollar terms from sales of automotive and household fuels, which rose 37.1 per cent compared with February 2021. This gain was spurred by higher prices seen at the pump, with sales of automotive fuels continuing to exceed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, up 25.6 per cent compared with February 2020. Sales of motor vehicles remained strong in February, rising 5.8 per cent from the same month a year earlier. Higher sales were posted in the clothing commodity class, up 35.4 per cent compared with February 2021. The largest decrease in dollar terms came from food, which posted a year-over-year decline of 0.7 per cent in the month of February. In this product class, the largest drop was in fresh food (-1.3 per cent). Hardware, tools, and renovation and lawn and garden products sales posted an increase of 7.7 per cent year-over-year.