Canada March 2021 retail sales data
- Prior was +4.8%
- Estimates ranged from +2.3% to +3.6%
- Statistics Canada advance estimate for March was +2.3%
- Retail sales ex autos +4.3% vs +2.3% expected
- Sales up in 10 of 11 subsectors
- April advance estimate m/m -5.1% (based on 46% of responses)
- Sales rose 1.8% in Q1
- Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers +19.8% due to better spring weather
- Clothing and accessories +23.6%
- Food and beverage stores -1.3% led by grocery stores
- Full report
USD/CAD was trading at 1.2042 ahead of this report and little changed afterwards.
April was locked down heavily in much of Canada and continues to be so retail sales were curbed. It’s tough to guess what was expected in the month but -5.1% isn’t that bad considering the severity of the lockdown.
Expect that March will be the high water mark at least until June. It’s a tough time to trade this report because you don’t know what represents unanticipated demand and what is lockdown-related.
Notably, clothing sales have been extremely strong in a number of countries after being extremely depressed throughout the pandemic. There’s an investing idea there.