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Retail sales strengthen in March

Retail sales strengthen in March

Posted on: 5/22/2019 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

Alberta retailers and the provincial economy both received a shot in the arm in March with seasonally-adjusted monthly retail sales rising by 2.4 per cent or $160 million. Adjusted for inflation, sales grew by about 1.6 per cent.

Nationally, sales improved by 1.1 per cent or $550 million. Sales improved in every province and territory except Manitoba where they contracted by 0.7 per cent.

Sales were up in every major sub-category with Statistics Canada crediting the majority of the gain to “higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations.”

While the March numbers are welcome news, economic headwinds, high unemployment and prohibitive levels of consumer debt still point to a relatively slow year overall for retail sales growth in Alberta. Hopefully, the prevailing economic conditions will improve and we will see retail sales continue to grow in the months ahead.

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