Retail activity resilient through Q1
But inflation rather than volume was responsible for the growth
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 27 May 2022 1 min read
Revenues for Alberta’s retailers inched higher with seasonally adjusted sales up by $134 million (+1.8%) in March, rising for the third consecutive month.
Unadjusted sales grew $625 million (+3.2%) year-to-date, as a 41% increase in gasoline station revenue largely offset declines in food and beverage stores and motor vehicle and parts sales during the same timeframe.
Note that inflation continues to play the most integral part of the story here. Adjusting for the price increases in consumer goods, retail sales in Alberta were down by $851 million (-5.2%) relative to where things stood in the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, Canadian retail activity in March was little changed from February. Year-to-date sales, however, rose $10.9 billion (+7.5%) through the first three months of the year with over half of the increase stemming just from Ontario.
Preliminary estimates by Statistics Canada suggest a slightly better national performance in April.
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