September 22, 2009

Canadian retail trade dips in July

Retail sales in Canada fell 0.6 percent to $34.2 billion in July, mostly due to lower gasoline prices, Statistics Canada reported from Ottawa Tuesday.

This was the third time in four months where sales at gasoline stations have been the largest contributor to the change in overall retail sales, reflecting swings in prices, the agency said.

The price of gas fell 3.4 percent in July, the report said.

Overall sales declined in five of the eight main retail sectors in July, although trade has risen in five of the first seven months of 2009, after large declines at the end of 2008, StatsCan said.

The food and beverage stores sector posted a 1.5 percent sales decline in July, as beer, wine and liquor stores reported a 1.4 percent decrease.

Sales at new car dealers were up 0.2 percent, the third consecutive monthly gain.

Regionally, retail sales in Alberta were hardest hit with a drop of 9.2 percent compared to July 2008, the report said.