Updated February 25th, 2024 at 22:19 IST

Canada witnessed retail sales growth of 0.9% in Dec

The Bank of Canada's steadfast decision to maintain borrowing costs at a 22-year high of 5 per cent since July.

Reported by: Business Desk
Canada | Image:Pexels Photo
Advertisement

Canada Retail Sales: Canada witnessed a stronger-than-expected retail sales growth of 0.9 per cent in December compared to November, surpassing the anticipated 0.8 per cent gain. 

The upbeat figures were driven by increased consumer spending on automobiles, food and beverages, and at supermarkets during the festive season. However, the momentum is expected to face headwinds as the preliminary estimate for January hints at a potential 0.4 per cent decline, signaling a potential slowdown in the new year.

Advertisement

Despite the positive December numbers contributing to a net increase in spending for eight out of the 12 months in 2023, economists caution about a looming economic slowdown in the first half of the year. The impact of higher interest rates is anticipated to weigh on consumer spending, prompting a cautious outlook.

The Bank of Canada's steadfast decision to maintain borrowing costs at a 22-year high of 5 per cent since July reflects the central bank's commitment to address concerns related to rising prices. As economists monitor economic indicators closely, the strong performance in December is seen as a contributor to a surprisingly robust Q4 GDP estimate, indicating that high interest rates have not completely dampened consumer spirits.

Advertisement

December retail sales reached a total of C$67.3 billion ($49.86 billion), with gains observed in five out of nine sub-sectors. Notably, motor vehicle and parts dealers, constituting a quarter of total sales, recorded a significant 1.9 per cent jump. Excluding this sub-sector, retail trade still demonstrated growth, albeit at 0.6 per cent, slightly below the forecasted 0.7 per cent.

Food and beverage retailers experienced the second-largest increase in sales, growing by 1.5 per cent every month. Conversely, the furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliances retailers saw the steepest decline, with a 2.7 per cent drop.

Advertisement

While the positive economic indicators have contributed to a favorable economic backdrop, the looming challenges in January underscore the delicate balance that policymakers and businesses will need to navigate in the coming months. The Bank of Canada's decision-making will be closely watched as it continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the economy.

 

Advertisement

Published February 22nd, 2024 at 21:55 IST