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BC retailers ring up Canada's biggest gain, says Stats Can

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Summary

BC outperforms the rest of the country in retail sales

New cars, electronic and appliances are big sellers boosting sales nation-wide

OTTAWA, ON. (NEWS 1130) – The latest picture of Canada’s retail sales shows BC with the biggest increase in the country. Statistics Canada has released data for March, and it shows the province’s retail sales jumped 8.9 per cent from a year earlier and 2.3 per cent from the previous month. Sales province-wide were $6.8 billion.

Retailers across the country recorded sales of $48.3 billion, a gain of 6.9 per cent year-over-year and 0.7 per cent from February. The performance was driven, in large part, by new car sales, followed by electronics and appliance sellers and general merchandise stores.

Bank of Montreal Chief Economist Doug Porter says “retail sales were solid, showing yet again that anything related to the consumer (including housing) has solid underlying momentum.”

The sales report points toward higher inflation, but that wasn’t the case in April as the Consumer Price Index was the same as the previous month. Prices were 1.6 per cent higher than a year earlier. “The easiest way to square this circle is that Canada is operating with a fair degree of economic slack, but absorbing it quickly,” explains TD Bank economist James Marple.