Retail trade

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November 2011 (Previous release)

Retail sales in November rose for a fourth consecutive month, increasing 0.3% to $38.7 billion. Gains were reported in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 65% of total retail sales.

In volume terms, sales were also up for a fourth month in a row, increasing 0.5%.

Retail sales increase in November

Retail sales increase in November

Chart description: Retail sales increase in November

Gasoline station sales rose 0.8% in November. This was the eighth increase since the beginning of 2011.

Sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+2.9%) rose for a fourth consecutive month. Stores selling video games were the main contributors to the increase.

General merchandise store sales were up 0.6%, the sixth increase in seven months. The "other general merchandise stores" industry accounted for the gain, rising 1.7%. Following a decline in September and flat sales in October, sales at department stores fell 0.7% in November.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+0.3%) advanced for a fourth consecutive month. Stronger tire sales led to a 5.1% increase at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores. Receipts at new car dealers edged up 0.1%, following larger increases the previous three months. Sales at other motor vehicle dealers (-1.4%) and used car dealers (-0.5%) both declined in November.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores reported a 0.9% sales gain. This was the third increase in a row.

Following five monthly gains, sales at food and beverage stores declined 0.3%. This decrease came mainly from lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.4%).

Furniture and home furnishings stores (-0.8%) registered a third consecutive sales decrease in November. Lower sales at home furnishings stores (-3.1%) accounted for this decline.

Sales up in half of the provinces

Retail sales rose in Quebec and the four Western provinces for a fourth month in a row.

Sales in Quebec grew 0.7%, with widespread gains across store types. Sales in this province have been generally rising since May, following declines in the beginning of 2011.

Note to readers

All the data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted.

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.

Increases in Alberta (+1.0%) and Saskatchewan (+1.3%) marked the fourth month in a row that sales growth in these provinces was higher than the national level.

Sales declined in all of the Atlantic provinces. Nova Scotia (-1.0%) reported the largest decrease.

Sales in Ontario edged down 0.1% in November, a second consecutive monthly decline.

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 080-0020 and 080-0021.

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

The November 2011 issue of Retail Trade (63-005-X, free) will be available shortly.

Data on retail trade for December will be released on February 21.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-877-421-3067; 613-951-3549; For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jake Purdy (613-951-0984), Distributive Trades Division.