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Jan 4, 2024

Building materials leads core retail sales decline

Statistics Canada reports retail sales increased 0.7 percent to $66.9 billion in October. Sales were up in seven of nine subsectors and were led by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+1.1 percent). Core retail sales – which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers – were up 1.2 percent in October. The largest decrease came from building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, where core sales were down -0.2 percent. Retail sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers subsector were $4.1 billion in October, down 6.3 percent compared to $3.9 billion in September.

Retail sales increased in nine provinces in October. The largest provincial increase was in Ontario (+1.0 percent), led by higher sales at general merchandise retailers. The lone provincial decrease for the month was in Alberta (-0.2 percent), led by lower sales at food and beverage retailers. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were up 1.8 percent to $3.9 billion in October, accounting for 5.9 percent of total retail trade, this compared to 5.8 percent in September. 

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