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Canadian retail sales likely to have contracted in December on weaker sales at gasoline stations

Canadian December retail sales data is set to release tomorrow. According to a TD Economics research report, the retail sales are likely to have contracted 0.4 percent in the month, owing to softer sales at gasoline stations, with little counter from core retail sales.

Seasonally adjusted gasoline prices dropped 4 percent in the month that presents a headwind to sales after a 5 percent fall last month, although favourable weather and holiday driving might add to a countering rise in volumes.

Meanwhile, the continued softness in the housing market is expected to be a drag on retail sales of building materials and home furnishings. Auto sales are expected to see a modest fall to leave the ex-autos measure in line with the headline print.

“Real retail sales are likely to post a slightly larger decline than the nominal series owing to higher consumer prices, which will weigh on service-sector growth in December”, added TD Economics.

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