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Canadian retail sales see highest gains since 2002

By CO Staff @canadaone |

In 2005 Canadian retailers registered their highest year-over-year increase in retail sales since 2002, with a total spending of $369.2 billion. These gains were led by a strong increase in sales of automotive fuels, oils and additives as well as hardware, lawn and garden products.

As gas prices soared in 2005 about 9 cents of every retail dollar was spent on automotive fuels, oils and additives, compared to just 6 cents in 1998.

In the realm of motor vehicle sales, service and parts the sale of new vehicles accounted for 55% of total sales while the sale of used vehicles rose by only 1.8%. Revenues from automotive parts and accessories increased by 9.5%.

Here are some of the key numbers from Statistics Canada's Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey, fourth quarter 2005 and annual 2005.

Table 1: Consumer spending breakdown by category

Commodity% spending
Food & beverages 22%
Motor vehicles, parts and services22%
Automotive fuels, oils and additives9%
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics9%
Clothing, footwear and accessories8%
Health and personal care products8%
Hardware, lawn and garden products7%

Table 2: Sales increases by commodity

Commodity% change
since 2004
Total spent in 2005
Hardware and home renovation products+8.2%$19.9 billion
Lawn and garden products+10.2%$5.3 billion
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics+5.4%$33.3 billion
- home furnishings+6.1%
- household appliances+6.2%
- home electronics+4.5%
Motor vehicle, parts and services+5.5%$80.8 billion
Food & beverages+5.5%
Clothing, footwear and accessories+4.0%$30.4 billion
Health and personal care products+5.2%
- prescription drugs+7.1%
- over-the-counter drugs and vitamins+2.9%

Table 3: Annual sales by commodity, all retail stores

$ millions
$ millions
$ millions
2003 to 2004
% change
Food and beverages73,28476,86981,0714.9
Health and personal care products27,15429,28330,8157.8
Clothing, footwear and accessories28,15629,20630,3603.7
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics29,87431,60533,3255.8
Motor vehicles, parts and services76,27176,59980,7840.4
Automotive fuels, oils and additives25,32529,01634,16414.6
Hardware, lawn and garden products20,99823,18925,19010.4
Sporting and leisure goods12,03812,29212,8302.1
All other goods and services31,88932,35733,1331.5

Source: Statistics Canada

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