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Retail sales slip

Retail sales slip

Posted on: 7/19/2019 | Author: ATB Economics

​​Consumers spent less at Alberta stores in May. After growing in March and April, seasonally-adjusted retail sales fell by 1.7 per cent in May and by 1.5 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Statistics Canada attributes May’s drop to “lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.” Motor vehicle and parts dealers account for about a third of all retail spending in the province.

Nationally, retail sales contracted by 0.1 per cent, but were up by 1.0 per cent compared to the previous May.

Added in October 2018, the cannabis store category posted sales of $17.5 million in May.

It is still too early to tell how retail sales will perform over the course of 2019, but the expectation is that Alberta’s relatively high unemployment rate and stagnant wage growth will keep retail spending in check.

Retail sales July 2019, graph

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