Sales for motor vehicles and parts helped drive B.C.'s two-per-cent retail-sales growth in August, compared with July – the highest rate among provinces, according to Statistics Canada.
While inflation soared 7.3 per cent in B.C. in August, compared to August 2021, there was actually a 0.4-per-cent decline in the consumer price index in B.C. in August, compared with July, meaning that the increase in spending in August, compared with July, was not largely driven by increased prices.
In Vancouver, the retail-sales growth was an even stronger 3.3 per cent in August, compared with July. Among large Canadian metropolises, Vancouver's 3.3-per-cent, month-over-month retail-sales growth rate ranked second, after Montreal's 3.4-per-cent rate. Retail sales in Toronto were up by one per cent in August, compared with July.
In total, British Columbians spent 8.678 billion in August, up from 8.506 billion in July. Of that, 4.186 billion was spent in Metro Vancouver in August, while 4.051 billion was spent in Vancouver in July.
National retail-sales growth in August, compared with July, was 0.7 per cent to 61.8 billion. Statistics Canada said that sales across Canada increased in six of 11 subsectors, which represented 65 per cent of overall retail sales.
The national increase in sales in August was led by a 2.4-per-cent increase in spending on food and beverages, as well as a 0.6-per-cent increase in spending on motor vehicles and parts.
Core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers, increased 0.9 per cent nationwide, which was the largest increase in five months, according to the nation's number cruncher.
Statistics Canada estimated that retail sales fell 0.5 per cent Canada-wide in September, but that number is not yet offiical.
B.C.'s year-over-year August retail-sales growth rate was 5.9 per cent, which was third lowest among provinces. Manitoba ranked No. 1 with an 11.4-per-cent growth rate. B.C. also ranked below Newfoundland and Labrador (11.2 per cent), Alberta (9.7 per cent), New Brunswick (7.7 per cent), Quebec (7.7 per cent), Prince Edward Island (seven per cent) and Saskatchewan (6.6 per cent). Ontario managed a 5.8-per-cent year-over-year retail-sales growth rate, while Nova Scotia retail sales increased by 5.3 per cent.