Canadian retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in September, propelled by higher motor vehicle sales. Excluding motor vehicles, retail sales were essentially flat. Sales were higher in 5 of 11 retail sub-sectors. In BC, retail sales were up 0.5 per cent on a monthly basis, and were 5.7 per cent higher compared to one year ago. Through the first nine months of the year, retail sales in BC are up a robust 5.7 per cent, which if sustained would mark the fastest rate of sales growth since 2007.
With the release of September retail sales data we have a fairly complete picture of growth for the third quarter. Our tracking estimate puts Canadian real GDP growth for the third quarter at a healthy 2.2 per cent, though a deceleration from 3.1 per cent in the second quarter. Growth in the BC economy is currently tracking at 2.3 per cent through September.