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Retail trade, November 2023

Released: 2024-01-19

Retail sales — Canada

$66.6 billion

November 2023

-0.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — N.L.

$0.9 billion

November 2023

-0.6% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — P.E.I.

$0.3 billion

November 2023

1.8% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — N.S.

$1.8 billion

November 2023

-0.9% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — N.B.

$1.5 billion

November 2023

-0.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Que.

$14.9 billion

November 2023

-1.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Ont.

$24.9 billion

November 2023

0.1% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Man.

$2.3 billion

November 2023

0.3% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Sask.

$2.1 billion

November 2023

-2.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Alta.

$8.6 billion

November 2023

0.6% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — B.C.

$9.2 billion

November 2023

0.7% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Y.T.

$0.1 billion

November 2023

2.9% increase

(monthly change)

Retail sales — N.W.T.

$0.1 billion

November 2023

-2.2% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales — Nvt.

$0.0 billion

November 2023

-8.4% decrease

(monthly change)

Retail sales decreased 0.2% to $66.6 billion in November. Sales were down in four of nine subsectors and were led by decreases at food and beverage retailers (-1.4%).

Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers—were down 0.6% in November.

In volume terms, retail sales decreased 0.2% in November.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales decrease in November
Retail sales decrease in November

Core retail sales decline

Core retail sales decreased 0.6% in November, led by lower sales at food and beverage retailers (-1.4%) and general merchandise retailers (-1.8%). Sales at food and beverage retailers were down on lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery retailers (except convenience retailers) (-1.6%) and beer, wine and liquor retailers (-3.3%).

The largest increase to core retail sales in November came from clothing, clothing accessories, shoes, jewelry, luggage and leather goods retailers (+1.5%).

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rise

The largest increase in retail sales in November was observed at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+0.5%), up for a third consecutive month. Higher sales at other motor vehicle dealers (+4.0%) led the increase, followed by automotive parts, accessories and tire retailers (+3.4%). Gains at new car dealers (+0.2%) were more than offset by lower sales at used car dealers (-2.2%).

Sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors (+0.3%) were also up in November. In volume terms, sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors increased 2.2%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Sales decrease in four of nine subsectors in November
Sales decrease in four of nine subsectors in November

Sales down in five provinces

Retail sales decreased in five provinces in November. The largest provincial decrease was observed in Quebec (-1.4%). In the census metropolitan area of Montréal, sales were down 0.9%.

In Saskatchewan, retail sales decreased 2.2% in November, led by lower sales at general merchandise retailers.

The largest provincial increase in retail sales in November was observed in British Columbia (+0.7%). The increase was led by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Retail e-commerce sales in Canada

On a seasonally adjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were down 1.5% to $3.9 billion in November, accounting for 5.8% of total retail trade, compared with 5.9% in October.

Advance retail indicator

Statistics Canada is providing an advance estimate of retail sales, which suggests that sales increased 0.8% in December. Owing to its early nature, this figure will be revised. This unofficial estimate was calculated based on responses received from 49.4% of companies surveyed. The average final response rate for the survey over the previous 12 months was 88.1%.

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  Note to readers

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

Seasonally adjusted data are data that have been modified to eliminate the effect of seasonal and calendar influences to allow for more meaningful comparisons of economic conditions from period to period. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

The percentage change for the advance estimate of retail sales is calculated using seasonally adjusted data and is expressed in current dollars.

This early indicator is a special unofficial estimate being provided to offer Canadians timely information on the retail sector. The data sources and methodology used are the same as those outlined on the Monthly Retail Trade Survey information page.

Trend-cycle estimates are included in selected charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. These data represent a smoothed version of the seasonally adjusted time series and provide information on longer-term movements, including changes in direction underlying the series. For information on trend-cycle data, see Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Both seasonally adjusted data and trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be extensive and could even lead to a reversal of movement, especially for the reference months near the end of the series or during periods of economic disruption.

Seasonally adjusted estimates for cannabis store retailers are presented in unadjusted form, as no seasonal pattern has been established by official statistics yet. Establishing such a pattern requires several months of observed data. In the interim, the seasonally adjusted estimates for cannabis store retailers will be identical to the unadjusted figures.

Some common e-commerce transactions, such as travel and accommodation bookings, ticket purchases and financial transactions, are not included in Canadian retail sales figures.

Total retail sales expressed in volume terms are calculated by deflating current-dollar values using consumer price indexes.

Find more statistics on retail trade.

Next release

Data on retail trade for December 2023 will be released on February 22, 2024.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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