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Special Report

Canada Retail Sales Research Brief

January 2024

Consumer Spending Ended 2023 Strong, Aiding
Demand for Retail and Industrial Space  

Holiday spending robust despite soft November sales. Slightly below expectation, retail sales declined by 0.2 per cent month over month in November. Lower sales for food and beverages, as well as general merchandise, drove the decrease, which was partially offset by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. Overall, shoppers preferred brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping in November, as e-commerce sales fell 1.5 per cent month-over-month. Despite the monthly loss, total sales rose 1.8 per cent year-over-year, signaling stronger momentum compared to the start of the holiday shopping season in 2022. Although retail sales disappointed slightly in November, positive growth recorded in October and a strong advance estimate for December point to solid consumer spending in the final quarter of 2023.

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