Alberta retail sales jump in December

The 0.5 percent decline in December retail sales - the first in four months - pushed the CAD to a 15-day low of 1.32099 against the Dollars on Wednesday.

The BOC recently rolled out three core measure of inflation called CPI common, CPI median and CPI trim so we'll look for signals there as well.

The most recent numbers from Statistics Canada show retail sales increased 1.1 per cent in Alberta, largely buoyed by higher sales at the pump, as well as increased sales at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores.

The cost of living in Canada rose by 2.1 per cent in the year up to January, a sharp increase from the pace in December. Economists had estimated a gain of 1.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey.

December's decline, the biggest since March, was widespread, with nine out of 11 sectors posting lower sales.

Although overall retail sales declined in Canada, E-commerce sales reached an all-time high of 1.7 billion in December, accounting for a total of 3.4% of all retail sales.

Benjamin Reitzes, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said a 0.5 per cent drop from November can be attributed to Canadians starting their holiday shopping earlier in the year.

"Black Friday is definitely a cause", he said referring to the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday in November when retailers have some of their biggest promotions of the year.

That drop is partly being blamed on weaker holiday sales in December.

General merchandise store sales were down 1.3 percent, the second month of declines in a row.

  • Zachary Reyes