Canada reported on Friday that the Canadian retail sales tumbled 10.0 percent
m-o-m at CAD47.07 billion in March, following a revised 0.4 percent m-o-m
advance in February (originally a 0.3 percent m-o-m gain). That was the largest monthly drop on record.
Economists had forecast a 10.0 percent m-o-m plunge for March.
According to the report, the March decrease was led by record declines at motor vehicle and parts dealers (-35.6 percent m-o-m), clothing and clothing accessories stores (-51.3 percent m-o-m) and gasoline stations (-19.8 percent m-o-m). At the same time, sales at food and beverage (+22.8 percent m-o-m) and general merchandise (+6.4 percent m-o-m) stores rose to the highest level on record and posted their largest monthly gain since the beginning of the series.
Overall, sales were down in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 39.2 percent of retail trade, as many Canadian retailers shut down operations mid-month, curtailed hours and customer flow in the stores that remained open due to coronavirus pandemic.
In y-o-y terms, Canadian retail sales fell 8.4 percent in March, following a revised 3.1 percent surge in February (originally, a 3.0 percent advance). That was the largest drop in retail trade on record.
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