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Jun 22, 2023

General merchandise sector leads retail sales increase

Retail sales increased 1.1% to $65.9 billion in April. Sales increased in eight of nine subsectors and were led by increases at general merchandise retailers (+3.3%) and food and beverage retailers (+1.5%), says Statistics Canada. Core retail sales – which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers – increased 1.5% in April, posting its fifth consecutive monthly increase. The gain was also led by higher sales at general merchandise retailers (+3.3%). The largest decrease to core retail sales came from furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers (-1.6%). Sales were down in all three store types, with lower sales at electronics and appliance retailers (-1.3%) leading the decline. Sales for building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers were $3,962 million for April, down 8.5% compared to sales of $4,331 million in the year-ago period. Floor covering, window treatment, and other home furnishing retailers had sales of $709 million, down 7.5% compared to sales of $766 million in April 2022. Retail sales increased in eight provinces in April. The largest provincial increase was observed in Ontario (+1.3%), led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. The largest provincial decrease in April was in Newfoundland and Labrador (-1.1%). The decrease was driven by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were down 6.1% to $3.6 billion in April, accounting for 5.5% of total retail trade compared with 5.9% in March. 

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