OTTAWA — Canadian retail and wholesale
sales both rose in July and were higher than before the
coronavirus pandemic struck, Statistics Canada said on Friday,
pointing to further evidence of a partial economic recovery.
Retail trade rose by 0.6% – less than the 1.0% forecast in a
poll of Reuters analysts – and Statscan said August sales
probably gained 1.1% on the month. Wholesale trade jumped by
4.3% in July, much more than the predicted 2.0% gain.
The increases were much more modest than the 22.7% surge in
retail sales and the 18.8% jump in wholesale sales seen in June
after restrictions imposed to fight the outbreak were removed.
“Retail and wholesale activity just carved out perfect
V-shaped rebounds and that rebound was maintained in August,”
said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
“Now that the pent-up demand has been satisfied in many
sectors, expect much more subdued (i.e., normal) figures in the
months ahead in the sales data,” he said in a note to clients.
Retail sales grew in six of the 11 subsectors, with motor
vehicles and parts contributing the most. Gas sales also rose.
Excluding those two subsectors, overall sales fell 1.2% on
lower sales at building material and garden equipment and