Retail sales in the country have taken the bull by the horns in may with the end of the confinement related to the COVID-19 with an increase of 18.7% compared to April, but remained weak, has announced Statistics Canada, Tuesday morning.
They have, therefore, reached 41.8 billion $ in may, after the unprecedented fall of 24.1% in April compared to the previous month.
Therefore, the retail sales in may remained below 20% compared to that recorded before the crisis in February. They are also lower than the increase of 19.7% recorded in the United States in may.
“Sales have increased in 10 of the 11 sub-sectors [at the food markets being the exception]. The dealers of motor vehicles and parts, the merchandise store as well as stores clothing and clothing accessories contributed the most to the force observed in may. Even if most of the sub-sectors have shown growth during the month of may, it is important to note that their sales have not rebounded to the levels before the pandemic COVID-19”, noted Statistics Canada.
The federal agency has stated that about a quarter of retailers (23%) were not open during part of the month of may. “The closure has lasted for an average of five working days,” said Statistics Canada.
The improvement was most marked in Quebec with an increase of 33.3% compared to April, notably driven up by the region of Montréal (+32%). The province was one of the first to reopen its economy, crippled by the containment of the COVID-19. Newfoundland and Labrador came in second place with a jump of 25.5% compared to the previous month. All provinces in the country have experienced an increase in their retail sales in may.
Statistics Canada said that its preliminary data show a 24.5% increase in retail sales in June compared to may in the country. This figure should, however, be revised when all data have been compiled.