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Canada January retail sales seen rebounding from December decline – Metro US

Canada January retail sales seen rebounding from December decline

FILE PHOTO: A Canada Goose store in Toronto
FILE PHOTO: A Canada Goose store in Toronto

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian retail sales most likely rose 2.4% in January from December, preliminary data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday, following on a 1.8% decline in December as consumers stayed home amid concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Retail sales totaled C$57.05 billion ($44.91 billion) in December, down from C$58.06 billion in November. For full year 2021, retail sales came in at C$674 billion, an all-time record, Statscan said.

In December, sales were down in eight of 11 subsectors, representing 41.7% of retail trade. The clothing and accessories, and furniture and home furnishings subsectors, led the declines.

“However, there was good news from the advance data for January which points to a rebound,” Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

“That will provide an offset to other areas of the services sector within monthly GDP, which will have seen sharp declines during the month due to enhanced restrictions.”

Statscan said about 15% of retailers reported continued impacts in December from floods in British Columbia, which shut roads and rail access to Canada’s largest port in Vancouver. In volume terms, retail sales were down 2.5% in December.

The flash estimate for January was based on responses from 50.6% of companies surveyed, Statscan said. The average response rate is 90.0%.

The Canadian dollar was trading nearly unchanged at 1.2706 to the greenback, or 78.70 U.S. cents.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Fergal Smith in Toronto; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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