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Retail trade, September 2013

Released: 2013-11-22

Retail sales rose 1.0% to $40.7 billion in September, a third consecutive monthly increase. This advance was largely attributable to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Gains were observed in 6 of the 11 subsectors, accounting for 55% of retail trade. Excluding receipts at motor vehicle and parts dealers, sales were relatively flat.

In volume terms, retail sales were up 1.0%.

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

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

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 4.1% in September. Following two consecutive monthly declines, sales at new car dealers increased 5.0%, the largest monthly gain since January 2009. This advance was attributable to a higher volume of sales. Gains were also reported at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.8%) and used car dealers (+0.7%). Sales at other motor vehicle dealers were down 1.3%.

Gasoline station sales rose 0.8%, the fourth increase in five months.

Sales at building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+0.8%) were up for a third straight month.

Receipts at health and personal care stores (+0.2%) rose for a seventh consecutive month, reflecting an increase in volumes sold.

Sales at food and beverage stores fell 0.3% in September, after increasing 1.4% in August. The main contributor to the decline was lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.6%). Higher sales were reported at convenience stores (+1.5%) and at beer, wine and liquor stores (+0.3%).

Following gains in July and August, sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores were down 0.6% in September. The decrease was largely attributable to lower sales at clothing stores (-1.0%) and shoe stores (-2.0%).

Sales at electronics and appliance stores fell 1.1% in September, the fifth straight monthly decline.

Sales up in nine provinces

Retail sales rose in nine provinces in September. Ontario (+1.0%) reported the largest gain in dollar terms, in part because of higher sales at new car dealers. This was the fourth increase in five months for the province.

In Alberta, retail sales increased 2.0% in September following relatively stable sales the previous two months. This gain was mainly a result of higher sales at new car dealers as well as at building materials and garden equipment and supplies dealers.

The 0.7% sales gain in Quebec more than offset the decline in August.

Retail sales in British Columbia (+0.4%) increased for the fourth time in five months. In Nova Scotia (+0.3%), sales were up for a seventh straight month.

Prince Edward Island (-0.3%) was the lone province to post a sales decline in September.

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

Data on retail trade for October will be released on December 20.

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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