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Retail trade, July 2013

Released: 2013-09-24

Retail sales rose 0.6% in July to $40.3 billion, led by higher sales at gasoline stations. Sales have been trending upwards since the beginning of 2013. Gains were reported in 8 of the 11 subsectors, representing 52% of total retail trade.

In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.5%, a fourth increase in five months.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales increase in July - Description and data table
Retail sales increase in July

Chart 1: Retail sales increase in July - Description and data table

The largest sales gain among all subsectors was a 3.2% increase at gasoline stations. Higher prices at the pumps and more volume sold contributed to the increase. This was the third consecutive month of higher sales at gasoline stations.

General merchandise store receipts rose 1.1% in July, a third increase in four months. Sales at "other general merchandise stores" advanced 1.2% and more than offset the decline in June. Department store sales increased 0.9%.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores reported a 1.9% sales gain. Higher receipts at clothing stores (+2.7%) and shoe stores (+0.8%) contributed to the increase.

Sales at health and personal care stores (+0.6%) rose for the fifth consecutive month. According to the Consumer Price Index for July, prices in the health and personal care component have been declining, mainly as a result of falling prices for prescribed medicines.

Following six straight monthly gains, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 0.6% in July. Lower sales at new car dealers (-1.2%) more than offset increased sales at used car dealers (+3.2%), other motor vehicle dealers (+1.1%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.1%).

Receipts at food and beverage stores (-0.3%) declined in July for the fourth time in five months. Supermarkets and other grocery store sales decreased 0.6% and more than offset gains in the other store types within this subsector.

Ontario and Quebec lead provinces in sales growth

Sales rose in six provinces in July. The largest gains in dollar terms occurred in Ontario (+1.5%) and Quebec (+1.3%).

Newfoundland and Labrador retailers saw their sales rise 1.3% in July, the fith gain in six months.

Sales edged up 0.1% in Alberta, following a 0.5% decline in June.

Retailers in Manitoba reported a 4.1% decrease in sales, offsetting three consecutive monthly gains. The provincial government of Manitoba implemented a one percentage point increase in the Provincial Sales Tax rate, which took effect July 1.

Following three consecutive monthly gains, retail sales in Saskatchewan fell 1.9% in July, in part as a result of lower sales at new car dealers.

It is possible to consult tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory in the Tables by subject module of our website.

For information on related indicators, refer to the Latest statistics page on our website.

  Note to readers

All the data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Total retail sales expressed in volume are calculated by deflating current dollar values using consumer price indexes. The retail sales series in chained (2007) dollars is a chained Fisher volume index with 2007 as the reference year. For more information, see Calculation of Volume of Retail Trade Sales.

The July 2013 issue of Retail Trade (Catalogue number63-005-X) will soon be available.

Data on retail trade for August will be released on October 22.

Contact information

For more information, or to order data, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Ashley Ker (613-951-2252;, Distributive Trades Division.

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