The uncertainty surrounding the provincial economy may finally be sinking in for Alberta consumers.
A report released on Friday by Statistics Canada said retail sales were down 1.8 per cent in Alberta in October to $6.7 billion, marking a third consecutive decline.
“October’s decrease was mainly due to lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and general merchandise stores,” explained the federal agency.
On a year-over-year basis, sales in the province have decreased by 1.9 per cent.
Nationally, retail sales increased 0.3 per cent to $51 billion in October as higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations were the main contributors to the gain. Excluding these two subsectors, retail sales declined 0.4 per cent, said StatsCan.
“Sales were up in five of 11 subsectors, representing 69 per cent of retail trade. After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms were unchanged in October,” it said.
“Sales at cannabis stores totalled $43.0 million during the two week period following legalization. The availability of cannabis across the country was affected by differences in retail structures in each province and territory. Retail figures will vary as new stores continue to come on line and the marketplace continues to evolve.”
The federal agency said that on an unadjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were $1.6 billion in October, accounting for three per cent of total retail trade. On a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce increased 19.3 per cent, while total unadjusted retail sales rose 2.6 per cent.