The majority of consumers and businesses are trusting the inflationary period will settle: Economist
Canadian consumers remained resilient in December, even in the face of elevated inflation and rising interest rates.
Receipts for retailers jumped 0.5 per cent last month, according to an advance estimate released Friday by Statistics Canada. That follows a 0.1 per cent drop in November, which was led by lower sales of food and beverages, as well as building material and garden supplies.
The increase in December more than offsets the lower-than-expected losses in November and adds to a 1.3 per cent gain in October, ending last year with relatively strong retail sales.
The data show household spending may be holding up better than expected in the fourth quarter, and point to a delayed start to what's expected to be a consumption-led gearing down of economic growth. Economists see a technical recession in the first two quarters of this year.
The statistics agency didn't provide details of the December number, which is based on responses from 33.5 per cent of companies surveyed.
The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the statistics agency's own estimate called for a 0.5 per cent decline in November sales. Excluding auto and parts, retail sales decreased 0.6 per cent, in line with economist expectations. In volume terms, retail sales declined 0.4 per cent.
In November, sales decreased in six of 11 subsectors, representing 47.4 per cent of retail trade.