Headline consumer inflation accelerated to 0.7% in October, mainly due to higher food prices. Changes in goods prices, measured year-over-year, remained in negative territory in October for the eighth consecutive month as lower prices for gasoline continued to weigh on the headline rate. Excluding gas prices, consumer inflation was 1.0%, matching the rate in September. Services price growth slowed to 1.2% in October as prices for traveller accommodation fell less in October than in September. Prices for traveller accommodation, however, were nearly 23% below prices observed in October of last year.

September’s retail trade report was also released on November 20th. Retail sales rose 1.1%, supported by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, general merchandise stores and food and beverage stores. September’s headline gain was the fifth consecutive monthly increase since the lockdowns in April. Monthly retail sales have exceeded pre-pandemic levels since June.

Retail e-commerce sales, unadjusted for seasonality, reached $3.2 billion in September, accounting for 5.6% of total retail trade. Measured year-over-year, e-commerce sales were up nearly 75% in September, while total unadjusted retail sales increased by 9.3%.

Statistics Canada also released an advance estimate of retail sales in October. Preliminary information suggests that October sales were relatively unchanged from levels reported in September.

September’s manufacturing report was released on November 16th. Factory sales rose 1.5% on higher volumes, offsetting the pullback in August. Higher sales of wood and chemical products contributed substantially to the headline gain, while food sales also increased. Total manufacturing sales in September were 3.6% below pre-COVID levels.

On November 17th, the agency released September’s wholesale trade report. Wholesale sales rose 0.9%, remaining above pre-COVID levels for the third consecutive month. Higher sales of food products and pharmaceuticals and pharmacy supplies led the gain. Wholesale inventories also rose for the second consecutive month.

Source: Statistics Canada