Canadian January retail sales rebound from December decline

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A Canada Goose store in the CF Toronto Eaton Center shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio/File Photo

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OTTAWA, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Retail sales in Canada most likely rose 2.4% in January from December, according to preliminary Statistics Canada data released on Friday, after falling 1.8% in December , as consumers stayed home due to concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Retail sales totaled C$57.05 billion ($44.91 billion) in December, up from C$58.06 billion in November. For the whole of 2021, retail sales were C$674 billion, an all-time high, Statscan said.

In December, sales fell in eight of 11 subsectors, accounting for 41.7% of retail trade. The clothing and accessories and furniture and fixtures sub-sectors led the declines.

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“However, there was some good news in preliminary January data that points to a rebound,” Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

“This will offset the other sectors of the service sector within monthly GDP, which will have seen sharp declines during the month due to the tightening of restrictions.

Statscan said about 15% of retailers reported continued impacts in December from flooding in British Columbia, which closed roads and rail access to Canada’s largest port in Vancouver. Expressed in volume, retail sales fell 2.5% in December.

The flash estimate for January was based on responses from 50.6% of businesses surveyed, Statscan said. The average response rate is 90.0%.

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2706 per greenback, or 78.70 cents US.

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Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Fergal Smith in Toronto; edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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