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Retail trade

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June 2009 (Previous release)

Retail sales in current dollars rose in June, increasing 1.0% to $34.4 billion. Most of the gain was driven by higher prices, especially for gasoline, as retail sales in volume terms increased 0.4%. Retail sales have risen in five of the last six months, following large drops at the end of 2008.

Retail sales up five of the last six months

Sales up for most store types

Sales rose in six of eight retail trade sectors in June. The automotive sector was the largest contributor to overall growth, with a 2.1% sales gain. A 4.7% rise in sales at gasoline stations was the main contributor to June's increase in the automotive sector. Higher gas prices drove this advance.

In the rest of the automotive sector, sales rose 2.2% at used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers. This second consecutive monthly increase followed six months of decreases, and was partly due to higher sales at parts dealers. Sales at new car dealers increased 0.4% in June after a strong gain in May.

Food and beverage stores saw sales increase 1.3% after being fairly flat in May. Most of the advance can be attributed to a 1.2% rise in sales at supermarkets, which completely offset the declines registered in the previous two months. The increase at beer, wine and liquor stores (+1.9%) was the seventh in nine months.

Sales at furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores increased in June for the second consecutive month with a 0.6% gain. This followed a downward trend that started in the middle of 2008. Strong sales at home electronics and appliance stores (+2.1%) were behind this advance. This may have been influenced by the introduction of new technologies in the telephones and home office electronics commodity group, which accounts for approximately 15% of sales at home electronics and appliance stores.

Note to readers

Total retail sales by volume are measured by deflating values in current dollars of the various trade groups using consumer price indexes. This retail sales in chained dollars series (2002) is a chain Fisher volume index with 2002 as the reference year.

Sales at general merchandise stores declined 0.6% in June, giving back the gains of the previous two months. Sales for this store type have been relatively flat since October 2008.

The other sector where sales declined was building and outdoor home supplies stores. The 0.6% decline in June did not fully offset May's increase. Sales were down for home centres and hardware stores as well as at specialized building materials and garden stores.

Sales up in nine provinces

Retail sales were up in nine provinces in June. Sales in Quebec rose 1.8%, making it the largest contributor to the national increase. In addition to price-induced higher sales at gasoline stations, this advance reflects strong sales at new car dealerships.

The highest rates of increase were on the Prairies where Manitoba (+2.8%) and Saskatchewan (+2.3%) both built on their gains from the previous month.

Except for April, sales in Nova Scotia (+1.8%) have risen every month in 2009. Nova Scotia was the only province where retail sales in June were higher than in October 2008.

With a 1.0% increase, sales in Newfoundland and Labrador rose for the sixth consecutive month in June.

After a strong increase in May, retail sales in Ontario were essentially unchanged in June.

The only province where sales decreased in June was New Brunswick. The 0.2% dip in sales follows a month in which the province posted the largest growth in sales nationally.

Table 1

Retail sales
  June 2008 March 2009r April 2009r May 2009r June 2009p May to June 2009 June 2008 to June 2009
  Seasonally adjusted
   $ millions % change
Automotive 12,527 10,394 10,264 10,524 10,744 2.1 -14.2
New car dealers 6,125 5,456 5,405 5,591 5,616 0.4 -8.3
Used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 1,593 1,503 1,476 1,499 1,532 2.2 -3.9
Gasoline stations 4,809 3,435 3,383 3,434 3,597 4.7 -25.2
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores 2,621 2,379 2,359 2,380 2,395 0.6 -8.7
Furniture stores 865 774 762 763 771 1.0 -10.8
Home furnishings stores 519 453 456 472 460 -2.6 -11.5
Computer and software stores 122 108 107 105 102 -2.7 -16.4
Home electronics and appliance stores 1,115 1,044 1,034 1,040 1,062 2.1 -4.8
Building and outdoor home supplies stores 2,284 2,189 2,196 2,220 2,206 -0.6 -3.4
Home centres and hardware stores 1,869 1,776 1,786 1,806 1,796 -0.6 -3.9
Specialized building materials and garden stores 415 412 411 414 410 -1.0 -1.3
Food and beverage stores 7,953 8,354 8,256 8,270 8,374 1.3 5.3
Supermarkets 5,686 6,045 5,988 5,978 6,049 1.2 6.4
Convenience and specialty food stores 840 849 834 844 851 0.9 1.3
Beer, wine and liquor stores 1,427 1,460 1,435 1,448 1,475 1.9 3.3
Pharmacies and personal care stores 2,424 2,484 2,476 2,524 2,543 0.8 4.9
Clothing and accessories stores 2,032 1,938 1,927 1,927 1,929 0.1 -5.1
Clothing stores 1,558 1,485 1,475 1,478 1,476 -0.1 -5.3
Shoe, clothing accessories and jewellery stores 474 453 452 449 452 0.6 -4.6
General merchandise stores 4,280 4,336 4,355 4,366 4,341 -0.6 1.4
Miscellaneous retailers 1,829 1,814 1,833 1,829 1,831 0.1 0.1
Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores 918 912 916 928 941 1.4 2.5
Miscellaneous store retailers 911 902 917 900 890 -1.2 -2.3
Total retail sales 35,951 33,887 33,666 34,039 34,363 1.0 -4.4
Total excluding new car dealers, used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 28,232 26,928 26,785 26,950 27,215 1.0 -3.6
Provinces and territories              
Newfoundland and Labrador 587 591 592 600 606 1.0 3.2
Prince Edward Island 147 141 143 142 142 0.2 -3.1
Nova Scotia 1,013 991 990 1,001 1,020 1.8 0.6
New Brunswick 829 800 793 808 807 -0.2 -2.7
Quebec 7,983 7,770 7,632 7,731 7,868 1.8 -1.4
Ontario 12,804 12,195 12,051 12,221 12,230 0.1 -4.5
Manitoba 1,260 1,206 1,203 1,211 1,245 2.8 -1.2
Saskatchewan 1,216 1,167 1,144 1,163 1,191 2.3 -2.1
Alberta 5,162 4,597 4,631 4,650 4,710 1.3 -8.8
British Columbia 4,819 4,302 4,364 4,385 4,416 0.7 -8.4
Yukon 45 42 41 42 43 2.0 -3.6
Northwest Territories 59 57 54 57 59 3.0 -0.4
Nunavut 27 27 27 27 28 1.7 4.0
revised
preliminary
Note(s):
Figures may not add up to total due to rounding.

It is possible to consult the tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory from the Tables by subject module of our website.

For information on related indicators, refer to the Latest statistics page on our website.

Available on CANSIM: tables 080-0014 to 080-0017.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 2406 and 2408.

The June 2009 issue of the publication Retail Trade (63-005-X, free) will be available shortly.

Data on retail trade for July will be released on September 22.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (613-951-3549; toll-free 1-877-421-3067; retailinfo@statcan.gc.ca). For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mark Switzer (613-951-7137), Distributive Trades Division.