Canadian Retail Sales (Nov) – January, 2021

Canadian retail sales rose for the seventh consecutive month in November by 1.3% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, defying Statistic Canada’s preliminary estimate of no change. Sales were up in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 53% of retail sales. The increase was led by higher sales at food and beverage stores. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 7.5%.

Sales were up in all provinces except for Manitoba. In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 0.8% ($8.0 billion) and by 1.4% ($3.7 billion) in Vancouver. Contributing the most to the increase were sales at electronic and appliance stores, while sales were down at auto dealers and gas stations. Compared to the same time last year, BC retail sales were up by 11.1%.

In November, Canadian e-commerce sales totaled $4.3 billion, accounting for 7.4% of total retails sales, which is up from 5.4% in the previous month. Meanwhile, e-commerce sales were up by 76% from a year ago. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.

November was a pleasant surprise in retail sales, as consumers likely pulled forward their purchases in anticipation of the holiday rush, as well as promotional events such as Black Friday. Early estimates from Statistics Canada are showing a December decline, as COVID-19 cases increase and multiple provinces implement stricter lockdown measures. Growth in retail sales is expected to slow until the vaccine becomes more widely available.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-nov-january-22-2021

Mortgage Rate Forecast (December 2020)

Highlights:
• Bank of Canada actions have pushed mortgage rates to record lows
• Canadian economy bounced back in the third quarter, but the second
wave looms
• Bank of Canada on hold, but when will quantitative easing end?

Download (PDF, 255KB)

Click here to view the December 2020 Mortgage Rate Forecast.
For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Canadian Retail Sales (Sept) – November, 2020

Retail sales rose for the fifth consecutive month in September by 1.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which is higher than Statistic Canada’s preliminary estimate of no change. Sales were up in 9 of 11 subsectors, representing 93.2% of retail sales. The increase was led by higher sales at auto dealers. General merchandise stores increased for the first time in three months, while sales bounced back at furniture and home furnishing stores. Compared to the same time last year, retail sales were up by 8%.

Sales were up in eight provinces in September, with notable increases in PEI (4.4%), New Brunswick (3.8%) and Alberta (2.5%). In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were up by 1.7% ($7.8 billion) and by 0.9% ($3.6 billion) in Vancouver. Retail sales were up in almost half of the subsectors, driven by increased sales at auto dealers, while a notable decline was reported at grocery and liquor stores.

Growth in e-commerce was back up in September by 74% year-over-year, after two consecutive months of declines. In September, e-commerce sales totaled $3.2 billion, accounting for 5.6% of total retails sales, up from 5.1% in August. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.

This was a good news report. Nonetheless, rising cases of COVID-19 have led some provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and BC to tighten restrictions, which includes discouraging non-essential travel. This could put a damper on brick and mortar retail sales as we enter the holiday season, while e-commerce could see another boost. Early estimates provided by Statistics Canada suggest that retail sales were unchanged in October.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-sept-november-20-2020

Canadian Inflation (Oct) – November, 2020

Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.7% in October year-over-year, up from the previous month’s increase of 0.5%. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 1.1%. Prices rose in five of eight components year-over-year in October, with food contributing the most to the increase due to rising prices for lettuce as a result of disease and inclement weather. Growth in the Bank of Canada’s three measures of trend inflation rose by 0.1 percentage points in October, averaging 1.8%.

Regionally, the CPI was positive in all provinces. In BC, CPI rose by 0.5% in October year-over-year, up from September’s increase of 0.4%. Strong price growth continued for health and personal care (3.1%), shelter (2.2%), and food (2.0%). In contrast, downward price pressures were ongoing in gas (-18.0%), clothing and footwear (-3.8%), and transportation (-1.7%).

Costs for shelter continue to increase, as record-low interest rates put downward pressure on mortgage costs. This has made single-family homes more attractive to households demanding more space. As provinces such as Ontario and Quebec expand their containment measures, and with new restrictions in BC, Canadian inflation is expected to remain subdued. In this environment, the Bank of Canada will continue to keep interest rates low.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-oct-november-18-2020

COVID-19 Reopening Dashboard – Oct. 2020

The BCREA Economics team has created the COVID-19 Reopening Dashboard to help REALTORS® monitor the evolution of the economy as BC navigates the recovery. This dashboard focuses on the sectors and activities that have been most significantly impacted by the pandemic and the province’s subsequent state of emergency. Home sales in the province had a record-setting September, as pent-up demand from the spring pushed into the fall.

To monitor the province’s progress toward a “new normal,” we benchmark each indicator to February 2020, the month before the pandemic was declared. This dashboard is updated each month.

BCREA’s updated COVID-19 Reopening Dashboard is available here.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.