Alberta’s retail sector in April cracked the $7-billion mark in sales, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reported Friday that sales of $7.1 billion for the month were up by 1.6 per cent from March, and they increased by 3.5 per cent from April 2018.
“Sales in both Ontario (+0.9 per cent) and Alberta (+1.6 per cent) continued their upward trend, rising for the third consecutive month. The gains in April for both provinces came from higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers,” said StatsCan.
Across Canada, retail sales rose for the third consecutive month, inching up 0.1 per cent to $51.5 billion.
Statistics Canada said sales were up in seven of 11 subsectors, representing 74 per cent of retail trade. Higher sales at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores were the main contributors to the gain.
After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales volume actually decreased 0.2 per cent.
“Higher sales at gasoline stations (+1.2 per cent) were the main contributor to the increase in April—the third consecutive monthly increase. In volume terms, sales decreased 0.7 per cent, reflecting higher prices at the pump,” it said.
“Receipts at food and beverage stores (+0.4 per cent) also increased for the third consecutive month. Higher sales at beer, wine and liquor stores (+2.4 per cent) and specialty food stores (+1.0 per cent) more than offset declines at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.1 per cent) and convenience stores (-0.6 per cent).”
On an annual basis, retail sales in Canada rose by 3.7 per cent.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.