Statistics Canada says retail sales fell by 2.1 percent to $53.8 billion in May, as many businesses remained close during the third wave of COVID-19, but the agency expects to see a return to growth once June numbers are available.
Sales decreased in eight of 11 subsectors for May, representing more than 65 percent of the country’s retail trade.
The largest declines in retail sales occurred in the building material and garden equipment and supplies sector, which saw an 11.3 percent drop, and in the motor vehicle and parts industry, which experienced a 2.4 percent decrease.
Receipts rose 0.8 percent at food and beverage stores and 0.9 percent at businesses selling gasoline.
StatCan predicts June will deliver a 4.4 percent sales increase because fewer companies were closed during the month.
It says 5.6 percent of retailers used to calculate its monthly numbers were closed at some point in May, compared with about 5 percent the month before.
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