A surprise decline in Canadian retail sales shows signs of consumers spending less. Statistics Canada reports say sales fell 0.1 per cent in June, while economist forecasts a gain of 0.5 per cent. Another report said that annual inflation slowed to 1.3 per cent in July, compared to 1.5 per cent the month before.
Statistic Canada has alos reported that retail sales have fallen in seven of 11 categories, making up 54 per cent of the industry.
This is well below the central bank’s target 2 per cent for the last two years, and the decline in sales adds to the worry that the Alberta wildfires shrank oil production. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]
“The retail sales number is a bit disappointing,” said Andrew Kelvin, fixed income strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank. There was hope “for a bit more bounce back following the very poor economic data in May.”
Canada’s dollar weakened 0.7 per cent to C$1.2870 per U.S. dollar at 8:40 a.m. EST, breaking a nine-day rally.
With shoppers being more weary of their dollar, it’s time to pay close attention to what shoppers are willing to buy. You might consider going to a larger competitor to see what consumers are looking at, and make changes in your own stores. If you are already making changes to your selection, this is a great opportunity to utilize your social media platforms to let your clients know.