Retail Sales in Canada Dip Slightly in March 2024

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According to Statistics Canada, retail sales in Canada decreased by 0.2% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 [Statcan]. This small decline follows two months of strong growth.

The largest decrease in sales was in furniture and home furnishing stores, where sales fell by 2.0%. Sales also declined in building material and garden equipment and supplies stores (-1.3%) and clothing and clothing accessories stores (-1.2%).

However, there were some bright spots in the retail sector. Sales increased in motor vehicle and parts dealers (1.0%) and food and beverage stores (0.6%). E-commerce sales also rose by 3.0% in March 2024.

Provincially, retail sales decreased in six provinces. The largest decrease was in Ontario (-0.7%), followed by Alberta (-0.5%) and British Columbia (-0.4%). Sales increased in Quebec (0.7%) and Prince Edward Island (0.4%).

E-commerce Sales Continue to Rise

E-commerce sales have been a bright spot in the retail sector in recent years, and this trend continued in March 2024. E-commerce sales rose by 3.0% compared to February 2024. This growth is likely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has led more people to shop online.


The retail sector in Canada is showing signs of cooling off after two months of strong growth. However, the decline in March 2024 was small, and there were some positive signs, such as the increase in e-commerce sales. Overall, the outlook for the retail sector in Canada remains positive.

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