Canada Retail Sales Research Brief
Household Consumption Softens; Commercial
Real Estate Remains Well-Positioned
Retail sales tick downward. For the second time in three months, retail sales turned negative on a month-over-month basis, falling 0.5 per cent in September. Total retail sales, nonetheless, were still up 6.9 per cent annually, and 18.4 per cent when compared to pre-pandemic times. This monthly decline, however, likely suggests that rising borrowing costs and heightened economic uncertainties are causing households to tighten their budgets, as total sales volumes have struggled to gain momentum over the previous months. Furthermore, with consumer confidence continuing to trend downward, weakening sales could continue through the holiday season. Economic growth, as a result, may begin to slow in the fourth quarter, as consumption holds the largest share of GDP and tends to be the final metric to fall in times of economic headwinds.