Alberta retail sales trended higher in July

Increase led by gasoline stations and food and beverage stores: StatsCan

Mario ToneguzziRetail sales in Alberta rose for the sixth time in seven months in July, largely due to higher sales at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores, according to Statistics Canada.

Sales grew by 0.6 per cent to $6.9 billion.

On an annual basis, retail sales were up 3.1 per cent.

Across Canada, the federal agency reported on Friday that retail sales rose 0.3 per cent to $50.9 billion in July on higher sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations. Excluding the lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales increased 0.9 per cent.

“Sales were up in eight of 11 subsectors, representing 54.8 per cent of total retail sales. After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms decreased 0.1 per cent,” said StatsCan.

“Sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.3 per cent in July. The gain was led by higher receipts at supermarkets and other grocery stores (+1.2 per cent). Sales at beer, wine and liquor stores (+1.5 per cent) and convenience stores (+3.3 per cent) increased for the fifth consecutive month.”

StatsCan said sales at gasoline stations rose 1.9 per cent, largely stemming from higher prices at the pump as sales in volume terms were relatively unchanged in July.

Year over year, sales increased by 3.7 per cent across Canada.

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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