Retail sales increased for the fifth consecutive month, rising 0.8% in current dollars to $36.6 billion in October. Gains were reported in 7 of 11 subsectors, led by gasoline stations. Excluding sales at gasoline stations, retail sales edged down 0.1%.
After removing the effects of price changes, particularly higher gasoline prices, retail sales in volume terms were down 0.2%.
The largest increase in dollar terms among all subsectors was a 7.4% rise at gasoline stations, reflecting mainly higher prices at the pump. This was the fourth consecutive monthly increase in sales at gasoline stations.
Furniture and home furnishing store sales advanced 2.2%. Home furnishing stores accounted for this increase, reporting a 4.6% gain. Sales at these stores have risen for three consecutive months, following a large decline in July.
Motor vehicle and parts dealers' sales rose 0.3%, a fifth consecutive monthly increase. Other motor vehicle dealers (+3.3%), as well as automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.0%) accounted for the gain. Sales at new car dealers were flat, ending a run of five consecutive monthly increases.
Miscellaneous store retailers reported a 1.4% sales advance following 10 months of declines. Examples of stores in this subsector include office supplies and stationery stores, gift stores and pet supplies stores.
Sales at general merchandise stores, which include department stores, decreased 1.2%. This decline partially offset the increase in September.
Food and beverage stores declined 0.2%. Lower sales at supermarkets (-0.5%) more than offset sales increases at the other store types in the subsector.
Following three consecutive monthly gains, sales in the clothing and clothing accessories stores subsector fell 0.8%. Lower sales at clothing stores (-0.9%) and shoe stores (-2.9%) offset an increase at jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores (+2.0%).
Sales up in nine provinces
Sales were up in nine provinces in October. The largest contributor to the national increase was Ontario (+0.7%), where sales rose for a third consecutive month.
Retailers registered sales gains of 1.0% in Quebec. This represents a fourth month of uninterrupted growth.
Sales in British Columbia rose for the third month in a row, increasing 1.2% in October.
Nova Scotia retailers registered a sales increase of 1.1%. Sales in this province have risen for three consecutive months, following a large decline in July.
The only decline occurred in Manitoba, where sales fell 0.5% for the second straight month.