September retail sales drop for second month

Written by Tiffany Ap, CNN Canada’s federal agency that tracks retail sales saw its sales shrink in September, giving added support to the notion that the country’s struggling economy is continuing to face a…

September retail sales drop for second month

Written by Tiffany Ap, CNN

Canada’s federal agency that tracks retail sales saw its sales shrink in September, giving added support to the notion that the country’s struggling economy is continuing to face a slew of pressures.

Statistics Canada said in a statement released Friday that retail sales fell 0.6% last month, following a 0.1% decline in August. Adjusted for seasonal factors, that compares to a 0.3% increase in sales during the same period last year.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected sales in September to rise 0.5% year-over-year.

Nationally, the agency said overall sales slipped to $56.6 billion, down from $57.3 billion in August.

The majority of provinces saw sales fall, with Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan posting the largest decreases. Sales in Alberta remained buoyant, increasing 0.4% to $18.1 billion.

However, the fall in September was compounded by a strong dollar and a drop in the prices of gasoline, which reduced sales in the food, beverage and tobacco category.

“Overall retail sales changed little in September, as weakness across several major sectors was offset by increased retail activity in the services sector,” StatCan said in its report.

“Total retail trade during the third quarter increased 2.1%, following a 3.0% decrease in the second quarter. The weaker performance during the first half of the year has been offset by stronger third-quarter growth.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that Ottawa is “confident that a successful fourth quarter will allow the Canadian economy to continue to grow.”

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