Retail sales in Alberta declined 0.1 per cent in August to $6.9 billion. But on an annual basis, sales were up 3.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
The federal agency also reported on Friday that national retail sales declined 0.1 per cent to $50.8 billion in August, following a 0.2 per cent increase in July. Sales were down in seven of 11 subsectors in August, representing 52 per cent of retail trade.
“Receipts at gasoline stations were down 2.0 per cent, largely reflecting lower volumes in August. After removing the effects of price changes, gasoline sales decreased 1.9 per cent,” explained StatsCan.
“Lower sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores (-1.2 per cent) stemmed primarily from clothing stores (-1.1 per cent), which saw sales decline for the first time in six months. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.1 per cent) declined for the second consecutive month. Gains were reported at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+0.8 per cent) for the first time in three months. The increase was largely attributable to higher sales at new car dealers (+1.3 per cent) and, to a lesser extent, automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.5 per cent). Sales at health and personal care stores (+1.6 per cent) increased for the third time in four months.”
The federal agency said retail e-commerce sales totalled $1.4 billion, representing 2.6 per cent of total retail trade and on a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce rose 13.9 per cent.
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.