Alberta's retail sales drop to lowest level since 2017, StatsCan says
Statistics Canada says the drop in retail sales in Alberta was a result of fewer sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. (Steve Helber/AP Photo)
CALGARY -- While retail sales enjoyed a significant increase across much of Canada in late 2019, Alberta's statistics are telling a much different story.
Statistics Canada released the latest data Friday and found retail sales in our province have continued a downward trend, dropping 0.9 per cent to $6.6 billion, a total not seen since early 2017.
The agency says lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers are primarily to blame for the loss.
The report also says retail sales have dropped in Alberta by three percent year-over-year. That's the highest drop in sales between November 2018 and November 2019 among all of the Canadian provinces.
Electronics and appliance stores also suffered significant sales drops between 2018 and 2019, as StatsCan says that industry fell by almost 20 per cent. Between October 2019 and November 2019, the industry only added about one per cent in sales.
Sales at cannabis stores across Canada did, however, enjoy the biggest increase in sales. StatsCan says it grew by over 150 per cent, but cautioned the figures have not been seasonally adjusted because there is no pattern in place for that industry yet.
Statistics Canada says Ontario had the highest increase in sales between October 2019 and November 2019 (1.6 per cent) while Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick all enjoyed the highest year-over-year increases at 6.8 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively.