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Retail sales fall 2.4 per cent in November


January 22, 2009
By The Canadian Press

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Retail sales fall 2.4 per cent in November
Retail sales fell 2.4 per cent in November to 34.9 billion dollars, the largest monthly decline since January 1998.

Retail sales fell 2.4 per cent in November to $34.9 billion, the largest monthly decline since January 1998.

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Statistics
Canada reports the November decline was fuelled largely by lower sales
at gasoline stations and a drop in unit sales at new car dealers.
Excluding the automotive sector – which includes new, used and
recreational vehicle and parts dealers as well as gasoline stations –
retail sales were flat.

Retail sales by volume fell 0.6 per cent.

The agency says the value of November sales was pulled down considerably by a 7.1 per cent decline in automotive sector sales.

A
14.9 per cent sales drop at gasoline stations, the largest monthly
decline since September 2006, was all price-induced as gasoline prices
at the pump fell considerably from October.

StatsCan says the
lower unit sales of new motor vehicles were behind a 3.4 per cent sales
decline at new car dealers in November.

Aside from the automotive sector, four other retail sectors registered lower sales while the remaining three reported increases.

The
miscellaneous retailers sector endured the second-largest decline in
November – a 0.7 slip – while sales in general merchandise stores
decreased 0.5 per cent, their second drop in nine months.

The
largest increases were in the pharmacies and personal-care stores
sector, and the food-and-beverage stores sector, where sales rose by
0.5 per cent in each sector.

Lower gasoline prices and a decline
in sales at new car dealers led to a drop in sales in all provinces in
November. With the exception of Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan,
the decline in retail sales was at least one per cent.


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