indicatorThe Owl

Retail sales pulled back just slightly in March

Compared to March 2020, sales were higher in every retail sub-sector except food stores

By ATB Economics 21 May 2021 1 min read

The seasonally adjusted value of retail sales in Alberta contracted by 0.4 per cent ($31.1 million) in March, but was still well above both pandemic and pre-pandemic levels.

On a year-over-year basis, sales were up by 26.3 per cent ($1.6 billion) compared to 12 months earlier and by 8.7 per cent ($0.6 billion) compared to March 2019.

Compared to March 2020, (unadjusted) sales were higher in every retail sub-sector except food stores, which were down by 13.4 per cent ($202 million)

The lower spending at food stores compared to 12 month earlier is relative to the spike in spending at grocery stores at the onset of the pandemic.

Nationally, retail sales rose by 3.6 per cent in March compared to February and were 23.7 per cent higher than in March 2020.

Month-over-month sales cooled in four provinces (PEI, Manitoba, Alberta and BC), but were higher in every province compared to March 2020.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The annual number of housing starts in Alberta peaked in 2006 when they reached 48,962. In third spot is 1978, when they hit 47,925.

Today’s trivia question: How long was Queen Victoria’s reign?

Retail sales in Alberta contracted by 0.4 per cent ($31.1 million) in March

Retail sales in Alberta contracted by 0.4 per cent ($31.1 million) in March


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