Canadian retail gross sales climbed in February, boosted by gross sales at new automotive dealerships, fuel stations and clothes shops, however economists cautioned the pandemic’s third wave will once more dent gross sales.
Statistics Canada mentioned Wednesday that retail gross sales rose 4.8 per cent to $55.1 billion in February, whereas core retail gross sales — which exclude fuel stations and motorcar and components sellers — climbed 3.8 per cent in February, the primary enhance in three months.
It additionally mentioned that its preliminary estimate for March urged a achieve of two.3 per cent for the month, however cautioned the determine can be revised.
TD Financial institution economist Ksenia Bushmeneva mentioned retail gross sales rebounded in February, and certain in March, amid the easing of restrictions put in place to sluggish the unfold of the pandemic.
“Nonetheless, progress stays extremely depending on the trail of the virus, which has since taken a flip for the more serious as a vicious third wave led to larger caseloads and hospitalizations,” Bushmeneva wrote in a report.
Governments throughout the nation have imposed a contemporary spherical of restrictions in latest weeks in an try and sluggish a surge in COVID-19 circumstances at the same time as vaccination charges decide up.
“Current spending and mobility information means that retail gross sales are more likely to weaken as soon as once more in April amid renewed restrictions and stay-at-home orders,” Bushmeneva wrote.
‘Massive-time reversal’ anticipated for April
Benjamin Reitzes, director of Canadian charges and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, mentioned retail gross sales proceed to carry out effectively when shops are allowed to open.
“Accordingly, one other good achieve is anticipated in March, however April will see a big-time reversal with restrictions tightened in a lot of the nation,” Reitzes mentioned.
Statistics Canada mentioned gross sales at motorcar and components sellers rose 5 per cent in February, boosted by a 5.6 per cent enhance at new automotive sellers and a 9.2 per cent enhance at automotive components, equipment and tire shops.
Boosting core retail gross sales was a 6.1 per cent achieve at normal merchandise shops.
Gross sales at clothes and clothes equipment shops additionally rose 23.7 per cent, the primary achieve for the class since September 2020, as clothes retailer gross sales rose 20.8 per cent, shoe retailer gross sales added 43.1 per cent and the jewellery, baggage and leather-based items subcategory climbed 25.4 per cent.
Sporting items, pastime, e-book and music shops noticed a 23.5 per cent enhance in gross sales for the month, whereas furnishings and residential furnishings shops gained 18 per cent.
In quantity phrases, general retail gross sales rose 4.3 per cent in February.