Make Kitco Your Homepage

Canadian retail sales unexpectedly strong in June, but July drop looms

Kitco News

OTTAWA, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales rose 1.1% in June, easily beating forecasts, on pricier gasoline and higher sales at car dealerships, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday, but sales were seen falling in July.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected retail sales to rise 0.3% in July. Statscan, in a preliminary estimate, said it sees July retail sales falling 0.2%.

Much of that July decline likely comes down to lower gasoline prices, but also signals rising consumer fatigue and a cooling of demand following a series of Bank of Canada interest rate hikes, economists said.

"Canadians have been feeling the pinch from both high inflation and rising interest rates," Royce Mendes, head of macro strategy at Desjardins Group, said in a note.

"So it should come as little surprise that retailers are beginning to see the pace of sales slow."

The Bank of Canada raised rates by a surprise 100 basis points in July. It is expected to hike its policy rate again by at least 50 basis points in September. read more

Canadian retail sales increased in June in eight of 11 subsectors, representing 76.8% of retail trade. In volume terms, retail sales were up 0.2%.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% lower at 1.2985 to the U.S. dollar, or 77.01 U.S. cents, as the greenback moved higher against a basket of major currencies.

The July flash estimate was calculated based on a weighted response rate of 36.5%. The average weighted response rate for the survey over the previous 12 months has been 91.3%.

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa, additional reporting by Dale Smith in Ottawa and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Paul Simao
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.