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Special Report

Canada Retail Sales Research Brief

June 2024

Retail Sales Inch Higher amid Strong Population
Growth and Rising Household Wealth

Growing interest rate certainty aids spending. Consumer confidence has been rising since the beginning of 2024 due in part to the widespread belief that the central bank would lower its policy rate in the first half of the year. Consequently, retail sales rose 0.7 per cent month over month in April, translating into a 1.8 per cent year-over-year gain. When accounting for inflation, total sales rose 0.5 per cent monthly. However, retail sales varied across the country. In Toronto, for example, sales fell by 2.5 per cent month over month and were down 1.7 per cent year over year. Households within the metro have larger debt liabilities amid elevated housing prices and are more impacted by rising interest rates. In contrast, regions with a lower cost of living and more affordable housing, such as Alberta, saw retail sales jump 3.1 per cent monthly and 3.0 per cent annually.

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