Review of Economic Statistics — July 27, 2018 - Transcript
(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Review of Economic Statistics — July 27, 2018")
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Richard Evans: Welcome to the review of Economic Statistics.I'm Richard Evans.
Guy Gellatly: And I'm Guy Gellatly.
(Text on screen below presenters: "Richard Evans, Director General, Industry Statistics. Guy Gallatly, Principal Researcher.")
Richard Evans: Guy, we're looking at two very interesting reports today.May's retail sales report and June's inflation report.Now, let's start with retail.April sales were down.So tell us what happened in May.
Guy Gellatly: Well a solid gain in May, more than offsetting that decline that we saw in the April numbers.Overall retail spending was up 2% in May on higher volumes.Interestingly Richard, if you go back to that April report, a lot of that decline that we had then was coming from lower sales in auto dealers, particularly in Ontario.And you can remember some of the more challenging weather conditions that we had in April.
(Text on screen below presenters: "Retail sales increased 2% in May, led to higher auto and gas sales.")
Richard Evans (cutting off):I remember. Freezing rain. Yeah.
Guy Gellatly: So, a strong rebound in those auto numbers in the May report, and that was the main contributor to growth.But we're also getting some support coming from higher sales at gasoline stations, both on higher prices and on higher volumes.So if you take those two factors out of the mix, overall retail was up about 0.9%.So, you know, a good portion of the overall growth in May really coming from autos and gas.
Richard Evans: Okay. So some recent volatility, a bounce back.Some price effects.If I'm looking at trends, what am I seeing trend-wise so far this year in retail sales?
Guy Gellatly: Well if you look at the current dollar series—you know you see a slight increase on trend through the first part of 2018.But you got to remember—you go back to the latter part of last year—we had some pretty high spending levels towards the end of the year.So overall spending in May in level terms, not all that different than what we saw sort of in the fall of 2017.
Richard Evans: And what about the constant dollar picture?
Guy Gellatly: A slightly different perspective there in constant dollars terms.Slightly flatter on trend through the early part of 2018.
Richard Evans: So a bit of a gap opening up between current dollar and constant dollars, and that implies inflation, doesn't it?So let's talk about inflation.It's been running higher and, not surprisingly, in the last few months, above 2%, what happened in June?
Guy Gellatly: Richard, that headline rate accelerated to 2.5%.That's the fifth consecutive month that the headline rate has been north of that 2% mark.That 2.5% increase year over year—that's the largest increase that we've had really since early in 2012.Now energy prices, a really important factor there, in the June report.Energy prices in June of this year were just over 12% higher than they were in June of last year, so if you take energy prices out of that mix, the adjusted rate is about 1.6 year over year.
(Text on screen below presenters: "Headline inflation accelerated to 2.5% in June on higher energy prices.")
Richard Evans: So a tamer picture there without energy.What does the without-energy picture look like, or what was the influence of energy over the first half of the year?
Guy Gellatly: Well, it's interesting, you know, there were a number of contributing factors there that were influencing that headline rate.And of course, this coincides with a general strengthening in the economy that we've seen early over the last year or so.But certainly in more recent months, that headline movement has been strongly influenced by the energy numbers.
Richard Evans: Excellent.Great round-up Guy, thank you very much.In closing, please be aware that we have new and improved capacity use statistics.They're part of the manufacturing report.To learn more, please consult the July 17 edition of The Daily. Thank you.
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