- Canadian retail sales remain unchanged on a monthly basis at C$51.65 in December.
- 7 out of 11 subsectors posted higher retail sales in December.
- Total retail sales increased 1.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
- Retail e-commerce sales climbed 31.5% in December.
- USD/CAD dropped to 1.3200 level on Friday.
Statistics Canada announced the monthly retail sales report for December on Friday. The data suggested retail sales in Canada to have remained unchanged in December from C$51.65 posted in November. As per Friday’s report, while dealers in the building material and garden equipment/supplies niche reported an increase in sales in December, the gain was offset by a sharp decline in sales reported by the motor vehicle and parts dealers. Food and beverage stores also recorded increased sales in December, Statistics Canada added.
7 Out Of 11 Subsectors Posted Higher Retail Sales In December
All in all, 7 out of 11 subsectors noted an increase in retail sales in December that accounted for 49% of Canadian retail trade. In terms of volume, retail sales were branded flat in December.
While retail sales remained unchanged at 0.5% in December, analysts had anticipated a drop to 0.4% to end the year. In quarterly terms, retail sales saw a 0.2% drop in Q4 after gaining 0.3% in the prior quarter. In terms of volumes, the fourth quarter posted a 0.5% decline in retail sales while Q3 had recorded a 0.3% increase instead.
In 2019, total retail sales in Canada were worth $615 billion that marked a 1.6% increase as compared to 2018. The report also highlighted 8 of the Canadian provinces to have posted improved retail sales in December with CMA (census metropolitan area) of Toronto printing the largest gain at 1.8%. The CMA of Montreal, on the other hand, took the lead in the declining category with a 2.9% drop in retail sales in December.
Prominent Figures From Individual Sectors In Canada
In individual sectors, building materials and garden equipment/supplies dealers recorded the largest gain in retail sales at 3.8% in December. Retail e-commerce sales in December were reported at $2.6 billion that accounted for 4.7% of the total Canadian retail sales for the month – its largest contribution in history. In terms of year over year gain, retail e-commerce noted a massive 31.5% increase in December while the gain in total retail sales (unadjusted) came out at 2.7%.
Following the optimism of the Canadian monthly retail sales and U.S manufacturing and services PMI hitting the U.S dollar index hard on Friday, Loonie posted its biggest gain in 2020 so far against the greenback. The USD/CAD currency pair dropped to 1.3200 level on Friday. Part of it, however, was regained later in the day as the pair closed the week at around 1.3222.