Forecaster Charts & Tables

Retail Sales

Retail is shifting from ‘bricks and mortar’ stores to warehouse construction in support of online platforms.

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Total Retail Sales Since 'Great' Recession, U.S. & Canada

The index approach: For U.S. and Canada, the dollar volume retail sales figures in each month are expressed relative to their July 2009 levels. July 2009 marked the end of the 'Global Financial Crisis'.

Based on Data Adjusted for Seasonal, Holiday & Trading Day Differences.
The latest released data point for the U.S. is January, 2021; for Canada, the data trails by a month, December, 2020.

Data sources: Statistics Canada and U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce).

Canada vs U.S. Retail Sales - New & Used Vehicles and Parts

U.S. Jan 2021 = +13.0%; Canada Dec 2020 = +3.0%

U.S. retail trade numbers (January, 2021) are one month ahead of Canadian sales figures (December, 2020).
*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year.
‘Based on ‘current’ (i.e., no accouting for inflation) dollar and seasonally adjusted data.

Data sources: Statistics Canada and U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce).

Canadian vs U.S. Retail Sales - Building Materials & Garden Supplies

U.S. Jan 2021 = +19.0% y/y; Canada Dec 2020 = +19.9% y/y.

U.S. retail trade numbers (January, 2021) are one month ahead of Canadian sales figures (December, 2020).
*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year.
‘Based on ‘current’ (i.e., no accouting for inflation) dollar and seasonally adjusted data.

Data sources: Statistics Canada and U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce).

Canadian Total Retail Sales vs Autos & Parts

In January 2021, total retail sales were +1.3% y/y, but -1.1% m/m. Auto sector sales were -2.1% y/y and -1.0% m/m.

Latest data points are for January, 2021.
*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year.
‘Based on ‘current’ (i.e., no accouting for inflation) dollar and seasonally adjusted data.

Data source: Statistics Canada / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Canadian Retail Sales Y/Y

'Building materials' was the leading sub-category, +26.0% y/y. The y/y decline in gasoline station sales (-17.9%) will reverse in coming months as the price of petrol has risen from the floor and has been moving upwards once again.

For January 2021.
‘Current dollars’ means not adjusted for inflation. Underlying numbers are seasonally adjusted & not ‘smoothed’.

Data source: Statistics Canada / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Retail Sales - Canada, Provinces & Cities

In Jan 2021, Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver combined for nearly 1/3 of total Canadian retail sales. On a year-over-year basis, Vancouver (+12.6%) was the frontrunner, as Toronto & Montreal retreated.

January 2021 Year-over-Year (Y/Y) & Shares
Based on ‘current’ dollars (i.e., not altered for inflation) that have been seasonally adjusted.

Data source: Statistics Canada / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

U.S. Monthly Sales by General Merchandise Stores vs Non-Store Retailers (i.e., Internet Platforms & Auction Houses)

In February 2021, 'general merchandise store' sales of $62.5 billion were -5.4% month to month, but +4.2% year over year. Nonstore retail sales of $86.7 billion were also -5.4% m/m, but they were a remarkable +25.9% y/y.

Adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.
Latest data points are for February, 2021.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Sales by U.S. Building Material & Supplies Dealers

The background numbers for this graph are a subset derived from a broader designation that includes garden equipment. Also, the reported data for sales by 'building material & supplies dealers' alone is always a month behind. Jan 2021 results were +4.7% m/m and +19.3% y/y.

Data source: Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

U.S. Total Retail Sales & a Key Subset, Motor Vehicle Sales (Y/Y)

U.S. total retail sales in February, 2021 were +9.5% year over year (but -3.1% month to month). 'Auto and parts' sales (as a subset of 'total retail') were +9.2% y/y (but -4.2% m/m).

*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year.
Based on ‘current’ dollars. Latest data points are for February, 2021.
Adjustments have been made for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

U.S. Sales Year-over-Year (Y/Y), Total Retail vs Food Services & Drinking Places

While U.S. total retail sales (i.e., purchases of goods) have recovered nicely (+9.5% y/y), expenditures at bars and restaurants (a 'services' component of consumer spending) remain deeply depressed (-17.0% y/y).

*”Year over year” is each month versus the same month of the previous year. Latest data points are for February, 2021.
Current dollars, with adjustments made for seasonal variation, holiday & trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Total Retail Sales in U.S. Monthly

Feb 2021 = $507.5 Billion (+9.5% y/y; but -3.1% m/m)

Latest data point is February, 2021.
Adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday and trading day differences, but not for price changes.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau (Department of Commerce) / Chart: ConstructConnect – CanaData.

U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales Y/Y

There's a subset of 'non-store retailers' known as 'electronic shopping and mail order houses' for which data reporting is a month behind. For January 2021, sales by that subset were an unbelievable +17.6% m/m and +37.1% y/y.

Y/Y, as of February, 2021.
‘Current dollars’ means not adjusted for inflation. Underlying numbers are seasonally adjusted & not ‘smoothed’.

Data source: U.S. Census Bureau / Chart: ConstructConnect-CanaData.

Total Retail Sales in Canada

But in the latest reported period (January 2021), they were down slightly month to month, -1.1%, although still up a bit year over year, +1.3%.

Data source: Statistics Canada Table 20-10-0078-01/Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

Total Retail Sales in Canada Monthly

Canadian 'total retail' sales in Jan 2021 were +1.3% y/y (but -1.1% m/m). Excluding gasoline station sales, they were +3.4% y/y. The price of gasoline in January was still way down y/y. Recently, though, the price of petrol has been climbing once again.

The last data points are for January 2021.
Data is seasonally adjusted. Also, figures are in ‘current’ $s (i.e., inflation has not been taken into account).

Data source: Statistics Canada Table 20-10-0078-01/Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.

Total Retail Sales in the U.S. Monthly

Three shopkeeper categories are currently accounting for more than half (54.1%) of total retail sales: motor vehicles & parts, a 22.8% share; nonstore (i.e., Internet) retailers, 17.1%; and food & beverage stores, 14.2%.

The last data points are for February, 2021.
Adjusted for seasonality and trading day differences, but not for price changes (i.e., figures are in ‘current’ dollars).

Data source: Census Bureau/Chart: ConstructConnect — CanaData.