BCREA ECONOMICS NOW REPORTS

Retail Sales - March 22, 2012

Canadian retail sales grew for the fifth time in sixth months in January, edging 0.5 per cent higher. However, gains at the National level were due to motor-vehicle sales with non-motor vehicle sales actually falling 0.5 per cent. Overall, gains were reported in just 5 of 11 retail sectors.

In BC, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent from a weak December 2011 and were up 4.8 per cent from January 2011. After underperforming for much of 2011, we anticipate that retail sales growth will pick up from last year’s anemic 2 per cent pace, though will remain somewhat constrained by continued weakness in labour markets and high household debt burdens.

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