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June Retail Sales in Canada Reach $65.9 Billion, Increasing by 0.1%: Statistics Canada

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Retail Sales in Canada Reach $65.9 Billion in June: Statistics Canada

Overview of June Retail Sales

Statistics Canada reports that retail sales in Canada increased by 0.1% to reach $65.9 billion in June. The growth was primarily driven by sales at new car dealers. However, core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations, fuel vendors, and motor vehicle and parts dealers, experienced a decline of 0.9% during the same period.

Sector Performance

Out of the nine subsectors, three experienced growth in retail sales. Motor vehicle and parts dealers saw a significant gain of 2.5%, with new car dealers contributing to a 2.9% increase. Sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors also rose by 0.3%, attributed to higher fuel prices in June. On the other hand, general merchandise stores reported a decline of 1.4% in sales, while food and beverage retailers saw a drop of 0.9%.

Economic Implications

Economist Tiago Figueiredo from Desjardins notes that Canadian consumer spending remained sluggish in June. He suggests that these numbers indicate weaker economic growth in the future, aligning with the Bank of Canada's expectations. Desjardins estimates that GDP rose by 1.4% in the second quarter, slightly below the central bank's forecast of 1.5% growth. However, Maria Soloviena, an economist with TD Economics, believes that consumer spending may recover with the government's grocery rebates credited to around 11 million Canadians in July.

Volume and Future Projections

In terms of volume, retail sales declined by 0.2% in June. Statistics Canada's early estimate for retail sales in July suggests a gain of 0.4% for that month, although it is subject to revision. Katherine Judge of CIBC Economics predicts a quarter-point hike in September from the Bank of Canada, but acknowledges that this could change depending on the preliminary estimates for July GDP. In conclusion, while retail sales in Canada experienced modest growth in June, the underlying weakness in certain sectors raises concerns about the overall economic outlook. The performance of retail sales will continue to be closely monitored, particularly with the anticipated impact of government initiatives and potential revisions to the data.

Implications of June Retail Sales on New Businesses in Canada

The June retail sales report from Statistics Canada paints a mixed picture for new businesses in Canada. On one hand, the overall increase in retail sales, driven primarily by new car dealers, indicates a potential opportunity for businesses in the automotive sector. However, the decline in core retail sales suggests that businesses outside of the automotive and fuel sectors may face challenges. The drop in sales at general merchandise stores and food and beverage retailers is particularly concerning for new businesses in these sectors. This trend could signal a shift in consumer spending habits or reflect broader economic issues. The sluggish consumer spending noted by Desjardins' economist, Tiago Figueiredo, may be a warning sign for new businesses. If consumer spending remains weak, it could lead to slower economic growth, potentially making it harder for new businesses to succeed. However, the potential recovery in consumer spending, suggested by TD Economics' Maria Soloviena, offers a glimmer of hope. The government's grocery rebates could stimulate spending, benefiting businesses in the retail sector. In conclusion, while the June retail sales report presents both opportunities and challenges, new businesses in Canada need to stay attuned to these economic indicators. Understanding these trends can help businesses navigate the market and make informed decisions.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/statistics-canada-reports-retail-sales-up-0-1-in-june-at-65-9-billion
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