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Economy in Brief

Canadian Retail Sales Are Digging Out Slowly
by Robert Brusca September 22, 2009

Retail sales in Canada fell by 0.6% in July following a surge in growth of 1% in June and of 1.1% in May. In the new quarter retail sales are expanding at a 3% pace in nominal terms. For the quarter supermarket sales are dropping. Sales of new car dealers are surging in double digits. Clothing sales are up at a 3.4% nominal pace. Excluding autos the annual rate gain early in Q3 are 0.9%.

More broadly, sales trends show gains that are gathering pace over three-months and mixed to the positive side over six months. Overall sales are expanding at a rate of 6.4% over three months at a pace of 3.6% excluding autos and at a 6.4% pace for overall sales.

The chart shows how Canada’s retail sales simply fell off a cliff at the end of 2008 when the US economy’s financial crisis took hold. Since then ex-auto sales are showing a more consistent rebound. Overall sales have only really reduced their rate of decline and the trend drop still seems to be operative for year-over year calculations. However over that short spans memorialized in the table both overall and ex-auto sales are hosing that progress is in train.

Canada Retail Sales
  Mo/Mo Saar New QTR
Nominal % Jul-09 Jun-09 May-09 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-MO Yr-Ago Saar
Total RTL -0.6% 1.0% 1.1% 6.4% 2.5% -4.9% 5.0% 3.0%
New Car Dealerss 0.2% 0.5% 3.5% 18.0% 15.1% -6.6% -5.8% 10.5%
Supermarkets -1.6% 0.8% -0.2% -3.9% -2.5% 4.3% 3.1% -6.6%
Clothing Stores 0.1% 0.5% 0.3% 3.8% -2.1% -4.1% 2.4% 3.4%
Retail less MVs -0.8% 1.1% 0.6% 3.6% 0.2% -4.7% 7.9% 0.9%
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