British Columbia's retail sales fell 1.8 per cent in June to $3.3 billion, which is a decrease of $72 million compared with the previous month, according to Statistics Canada data released August 22.
This drop is the biggest decline in Canada over the period in terms of both percentage and dollar value. Manitoba was a distant second in terms of percentage decrease at 1.8 per cent.
Vancouver retail sales fell 2.1 per cent in June, with decreases across almost all subsectors.
In Canada overall, sales were $50.7 billion in June, a decrease of 0.2 per cent in the month after an increase of 2.2 per cent in May. Sales were down in six of 11 subsectors.
Sales at gas stations fell 2.3 per cent (after a 5.2 per cent in May) and motor vehicle and parts sales dipped 0.7 per cent, which offset higher food and beverage (up 0.7 per cent) and building materials sales (up 0.6 per cent).
CIBC Economics’ Royce Mendes said June’s drop was no surprise and won’t change expectations about a Bank of Canada rate hike in September or October.
“Canadians weren’t in much of a spending mood to end the second quarter,” Mendes said in a note to investors. “
“Consumption does appear to be on more solid footing in Q2, which will contribute to the strength in the upcoming GDP report, but a soft handoff means that third quarter growth could fall back below 2 per cent.”
The Canadian dollar dipped slightly on the release of the retail data, but it has regained any ground lost in the morning. As of press time, it was trading at around 76.8 cents U.S.