OTTAWA – April was a good month for retail sales across the country, except in Manitoba.
Overall, sales rose 0.9 per cent nationwide, reversing a drop in March.
But here in Manitoba they went down by that same margin. Stats Canada says that’s because of a decline in sales at new car dealers.
Larry McInnes of the Retail Council of Canada also pins some of the blame on crummy weather.
“If you remember we had a pretty cool start to April, so that did impact some seasonal retailers. But they did see that pick up by the end and certainly into May when the weather really started to warm up.”
The news isn’t all bad for Manitoba, though. Compared to this time last year, the numbers look quite good.
“When you look at that, Manitoba actually did real well. Sales were up 8.5 per cent over last April. The national average was an increase of 6.1. When retailers look at these numbers, what they’re comparing isn’t May to April, what they’re looking at is year-to-year.”
Higher gas prices are a big reason for the overall growth across Canada. Sales at the pump were up six per cent from the previous month.
The overall growth matched the expectations of economists.