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Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey, second quarter 2019

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Released: 2019-10-15

In the second quarter of 2019, retail sales in Canada reached $163.3 billion, up 1.4% from the same quarter of 2018. Sales were up in 13 of 19 commodity groupings for the second quarter of 2019.

The largest increase in dollar terms came from food, which posted a year-over-year growth of 3.5%. The majority of this gain was attributable to higher sales of fresh food (+3.4%), led by growth in sales of fresh fruit and vegetables (+5.4%). Sales of packaged food dry goods increased 4.4%, while sales of frozen food grew 1.1%. Sales of soft drinks and alcoholic beverages rose 2.3% from the previous year, largely because of higher sales of alcoholic beverages (+2.6%).

Sales of motor vehicle parts, accessories and supplies grew 5.0% in the second quarter, largely on higher sales of motor vehicle parts and accessories (+6.0%) and new motor vehicle tires (+3.6%).

Meanwhile, sales of motor vehicles also rose 0.6% in the same period as a result of higher sales of used motor vehicles (+6.7%). Receipts for new motor vehicles declined 2.5%, led by lower sales of new passenger automobiles (-14.9%).

Hardware, tools, renovation and lawn and garden product sales were up 1.9% in the second quarter. The largest contributor to the increase was home lawn and garden equipment and supplies (+8.2%).

Sales of automotive and household fuels were down 2.7% compared with the second quarter of 2018. This decline was largely attributable to lower sales of automotive fuels (-2.6%).

Sales of cannabis products in the second quarter of 2019 totalled $251.8 million. Sales of dried cannabis flowering tops were $222.4 million, while sales of cannabis oils were $29.0 million.

  Note to readers

The Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey collects national-level retail sales by commodity from the same businesses as the Monthly Retail Trade Survey. Quarterly data have not been adjusted for seasonality. All percentage changes are year over year.

Beginning with the fourth quarter of 2018, data were revised back to the first quarter of 2017. These revisions take into account late reporting and corrected respondent information.

New Monthly Retail Commodity Survey data now available!

Check out the new Monthly Retail Commodity Survey (MRCS). Sales revenue by commodity at a national level for the Canadian retail sector and estimates from January to July 2019 are now available.

Analysis of the new data is available in The Daily, along with the new MRCS table.

New Retail Commodity Survey data visualization tool!

Check out the latest Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey (RCS) estimates in a new interactive way! The RCS's new visualization tool allows users to more easily view, customize and interpret the quarterly sales data.

Contact information

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