While retail sales across the country are going up, Albertans are spending less, with numbers reaching a low not seen since early 2017 according to Statistics Canada.
The overall monthly decline in Alberta in November was just under one per cent, and it was driven mostly by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, according to the latest report.
The report states retail sales hit $6.61 billion, which shows a steady slide in the province since November 2018, when sales reached $6.81 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Albertans spent $1.67 million at motor vehicle and parts dealers in November, down from $1.87 million in the same month in 2018.
Across the country, by comparison, receipts at car dealerships contributed the most to sales growth, followed by supermarkets, grocery stores and building material and garden equipment dealers. Cannabis stores in Canada hit sales of $125 million in November – a roughly 150 per cent increase in sales over the year and a 5.2 cent increase since October 2019. In the relatively new industry, official statistics haven’t established a seasonal pattern, so those numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Sales at gas stations rose 0.2 per cent in November, reflecting higher prices at the pump, the survey said. Unadjusted retail e-commerce sales in Canada amounted to $2.4 billion in November, accounting for 4.4 per cent of total retail trade.
In many provinces, the overall numbers were up. Retail sales in Ontario increased 1.6 per cent from October to November 2019 on higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. In the Toronto metropolitan area, sales increased by 2.6 per cent. In Quebec, those numbers were up for the third time in the last four months, increasing by 1.4 per cent. In British Columbia, shoppers spent 1.1 per cent more in November than they did in October.