Canadian retail sales growth just keeps stumbling along slowly, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada. Total retail sales gained just 1.5% year-over-year on a not seasonally adjusted basis in Q3 2019, a smidgen above the 1.4% Q2 gain but a drop from the 1.8% increase in Q1 of the year. After 9 months of 2019, or 3/4 of the year, year-to-date Canadian retail sales are up only 1.6% compared to a year ago.
Store Retail is up a modest 2.3% year-to-date so far in 2019, a 6 year low.
Store Merchandise had a relatively good Q3 2019, with retail sales up 2.8% year-over-year. This is up from 2.0% and 2.5% in Q1 and Q2 of the year respectively. Such gains are not at all record setting, but they’re still better than what the other major retail sectors produced. Also, positive trends in Store Merchandise are important for the holiday shopping season.
There are some weak spots in Store Merchandise. Retail sales at electronics and appliance stores were down a huge 10.3% year-over-year in Q3 2019, and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores’ sales were off 1.8%. Clothing stores only managed a 0.8% gain for the quarter.
Canadian E-Commerce Sales
StatsCan started providing ecommerce retail sales data in January 2016. While the amount of data is limited, some trends appear to be emerging.