(Ottawa) Canada’s retail sales fell 2.1% in May from the previous month to $53.8 billion.
Sales fell in 8 of the 11 sub-sectors, accounting for 65.6% of retail.
Statistics Canada indicated that the largest drop, 11.3%, occurred among dealers of building materials and garden equipment. Sales at auto and parts dealers fell 2.4%.
The federal agency states that in May, many retailers continued to close their doors due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sales increased 0.8% in food stores, driven by a 1% increase in sales at supermarkets and grocery stores and a 0.8% increase in beer, wine and liquor stores.
Sales at petrol stations rose 0.9% as gasoline prices rose in May.
Quebec recorded the second largest decline in retail sales at the provincial level, at 2.5%. The 3.5% decrease was measured in the Montreal region. In Ontario, sales fell 2.1%.
In Nova Scotia, sales from April to May fell 12.5%, the largest among provinces and territories. The decrease was 2.9% in Prince Edward Island and 1.5% in New Brunswick.
Given the rapidly changing economic situation, Statistics Canada provides advance estimates for retail sales which indicate that they increased by 4.4% in June.
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