March wholesale, retail sales lower in most sectors: Statistics Canada

economy-GDP-Statistics-Canada-cars-exports-oil-manufacturing-EDIWeekly

Poorer than expected retail and wholesale sales in March have sent the Canadian dollar to its lowest level in six weeks. Retail sales were down 1 per cent in March, Statistics Canada reports, falling to $43.8 billion. Sales were down in six of eleven subsectors, representing 74 per cent of total retail trade, the agency said, and in nine provinces. The largest decrease in dollars (0.8 per cent) was in Ontario.

The largest decrease in dollar terms was seen by car and car parts dealers. Sales at new car dealerships were off 3 per cent, at used car dealerships by 3.7 per cent, and at “other” motor vehicle dealers by 5.3 per cent. Sales at auto parts and accessories stores, however, were up by 2.5 per cent, the fifth time in six months they have increased.

Other decreases included sales of furniture and home furnishings, gasoline, food and beverages, building material and garden equipment.

Sales of clothing and accessories, shoes, sporting goods, books and music, electronics and appliances were all up.

The 1 per cent drop in wholesale sales in March was the second in two months. Sales declined to $54.6 billion, with lower sales in five of seven subsectors. As in the retail trade, the biggest drop was in motor vehicle and parts. That subsector recorded a decline of 2.5 per cent, falling to $10.3 billion. Statistics Canada says this was its lowest level in four months. Most of the decline was in motor vehicle sales, which fell 3.3 per cent.

Statistics-Canada-March-wholesale-trade-EDIWeekly
Wholesale sales March. Source: Statistics Canada

In the miscellaneous subsector, which includes agricultural supplies, sales declined 3.2 per cent to $6.7 billion, a fourth consecutive decline.

The food, beverage and tobacco subsector decreased 1.3 per cent to $10.5 billion, while the farm product subsector decreased 0.9 per cent to $644 million. The decline in March brought sales in this subsector, which had reached their highest level on record in March 2015, to their lowest level since February 2014. Lower prices for live animals contributed to the decline in sales in March.

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector saw 0.5 per cent growth in sales, to $11 billion, as did computer and communications equipment, and farm, lawn and garden machinery and equipment.

Wholesale sales were down in six provinces, the greatest decline in dollar terms occurring in Ontario. Ontario sales dropped 1.4 per cent to $28.1 billion. Quebec sales rose 1.3 per cent to $10.1 billion in March, led by gains in personal and household goods, building materials and supplies, and machinery and equipment.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Little support in auto industry for Canada/Korea free trade deal
  • Financial services fastest growing industry in Canada for exports: Conference Board of Canada
  • GE expanding cold-weather jet engine facility in Winnipeg
  • Manufacturing sales up in December but down for the year on weak energy sector
  • Canadian company to provide modular housing for refugees in Sweden
  • Global car sales will set record this year: Scotiabank
  • Are we ready to let go of the wheel? The current state of self-driving car technology.
  • Commodities firm sues Shell, BP, Statoil for price fixing
  • Ontario missing out on $billions from federal government: study
  • GPS III set to launch December 18: U.S. Air Force to launch via Space X Falcon 9 paylod; will be harder to jam, more secure and accurate
  • Ontario Tire Stewardship offering $50,000 for recycle projects
  • Canada's prosperity at risk from disruption, lack of skilled workforce: reports
  • CFB Goose Bay awards $100 million service contract to Serco
  • Anticipation building for first test flight of Bombardier CSeries
  • Small business tax rate cut to 3.5 percent will only partially mitigate impact of minimum wage increases, both set for January 1 in Ontario
  • Scientists Develop Sustainable Battery Using Tree Bark Tannins
  • If Keystone XL dies, will Energy East replace it?
  • Major iron ore mine gets approval in Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Bombardier CSeries finally flies the skies of Paris
  • Ontario invests $488,250 to create new jobs in Subdbury and expand research in mining.
Scroll to Top