Canadian Retail Sales Shrink In December

Retail sales for the fourth month have gone through a decline and from the look of things, shoppers are not willing to let go of their cash.

Retail sales in December declined by 0.5% according to Statistics Canada and out of the 11 categories recorded, nine of them experienced drop in retail sales except for gas stations, and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers.

Benjamin Reitzes, BMO economist noted that shoppers might have done their shopping before the holiday period.
Alberta and Saskatchewan the only two provinces out of ten other that managed to maintain high sales of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively.

But this did not come as a surprise as for the past five years, retail sales have dropped in December indicating a change in consumers shopping trends in December.

Apparently, sales in December have been on the decrease as a result of many stores making earlier sales before the holidays according to Scotiabank economist Derek Holt, but unluckily for him, he was not one of such shoppers.

Business owners who benefit from making high sales during the holiday were badly hit by this change in trend especially with clothing and clothing accessories stores that had a 3.7% decline, general merchandise stores with 1.3%, electronic sales 2.3% and sales of sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores down by 0.5%.

But with some retail business brining forward their sales, it means higher debt rates for shoppers that want to take advantage of the sales, higher taxes for high income earners and also higher mortgage rates.

Despite this significant drop in holiday sales, the economy is however unaffected by this decline and change in shopping trends.


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