E-commerce accounts for less than 3% of retail sales in Canada: StatCan

E-commerce is growing fast in Canada but still accounts for a sliver of overall sales. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Rachel Verbin

Statistics Canada’s latest numbers on retail sales showed that e-commerce sales increased 19.4 per cent in October, compared to a year earlier. However, they accounted for just 2.6 percent of overall retail sales.

The data, released Thursday, showed retail sales expanded 1.5 per cent in October, above economists’ expectations. Vehicle sales drove the increase (up 3.3 per cent) but gains were broad based.

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Sales were also up in every province, with higher numbers in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. accounting for the bulk of the increase, the agency said.

“Looking ahead to 2018, we expect consumer spending to play an important role in supporting economic growth, buoyed by continued employment and income growth,” TD economist Rishi Sondhi wrote in a note to clients.

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However, he added, “some moderation from 2017’s breakneck pace is likely, especially as interest rates continue to normalize.”

– With files from Erica Alini

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