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Canadian retail sales dropped 26.4% in April

Coronavirus outbreak: Why the economic fallout is hitting younger generations the hardest
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant declined in the global economy, and has impacted everyone around the world in some shape or form. However, the demographic taking the biggest economic hit is the younger generations. New data shows 52% of Americans under the age of 45 and 35% of Canadians between the ages of 18-34 have had their employment disrupted.

Statistics Canada says retail sales fell by more than a quarter in April as motor vehicle and parts dealers took the largest hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency says retail sales fell 26.4 per cent to $34.7 billion in April leaving them down 33.6 per cent since physical distancing measures were implemented in mid-March. Economists on average had expected a drop in April of 15.1 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

READ MORE: 2nd coronavirus wave could have ‘serious impact’ on economy, Bank of Canada says

While essential services like grocery stores remained open, most retailers did not offer in-store shopping in April due to public health restrictions meant to slow the spread of the pandemic.

However, many retailers started or expanded their online presence and curbside pick-up services in response to the closures. Statistics Canada says online sales surged to a record high, representing 9.5 per cent of the total retail market.

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