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Retail sales fell 2.1% in December amid Omicron, early estimates show

Click to play video: 'Impact of B.C. floods on the retail supply chain' Impact of B.C. floods on the retail supply chain
Avery Bruenjes of the Retail Council of Canada discusses how the floods in B.C. are causing product shortages ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. – Nov 24, 2021

Statistics Canada says Canadian retail sales were up 0.7 per cent to $58.1 billion in November amid higher sales at gas stations and building materials stores.

The agency says sales in November climbed in six of 11 subsectors, representing nearly 63.8 per cent of retail trade.

It adds that severe flooding in British Columbia and parts of Atlantic Canada damaged infrastructure and disrupted business operations, impacting retail sales.

Read more: B.C. floods pile pressure on retailers ahead of holidays: ‘How will we do this?’

Overall core retail sales – which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers – increased 0.5 per cent.

In volume terms, retail sales were up 0.2 per cent in November.

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Statistics Canada says its preliminary estimate for December pointed to a decrease in retail sales of 2.1 per cent for the month as the Omicron COVID-19 variant took hold, but it cautioned the figure would be revised.

Click to play video: 'Shipping delays impacting small B.C. businesses amid floods, highway closures' Shipping delays impacting small B.C. businesses amid floods, highway closures
Shipping delays impacting small B.C. businesses amid floods, highway closures – Nov 18, 2021

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