B.C. port strike affected 17% of retailers with auto sector hit hardest: StatCan

Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.3 per cent to $66.1 billion in July, helped by the strength of sales at supermarkets and grocery stores.

However, the agency says its early estimate for August suggests retail sales fell 0.3 per cent for that month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.

For July, Statistics Canada says sales at food and beverage retailers gained 1.3 per cent as supermarkets and other grocery retailers, except convenience stores, rose 1.5 per cent and beer, wine and liquor retailers added 1.3 per cent. Sales at general merchandise retailers rose 1.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 1.6 per cent, the first decline in four months, as sales at new car dealers dropped 1.7 per cent and used car dealers lost 3.1 per cent.

Statistics Canada said the on-and-off strikes at BC ports in July affected 17 per cent of retailers. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were the hardest hit, the agency said.

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B.C. port strike: Crippling impact on Canadian economy

Core retail sales — which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors, and motor vehicle and parts dealers — gained 1.3 per cent in July.

In volume terms, retail sales fell 0.2 per cent in July.

— with files from Global News’s Craig Lord

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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