Statistics Canada released the retail sales numbers for April 2019. For the third consecutive month, retail sales have increased. In April that represented a 0.1% over March numbers resulting in $51.5 billion. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations were main contributors of this increase. After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms decreased 0.2%. 

Retail sales up in seven sub-sectors
Sales were up in 7 of 11 sub-sectors, representing 74% of retail trade. Higher sales at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores were the main contributors to the gain. 

Gasoline stations show a third consecutive monthly increase in sales, this month the increase was 1.2%. However, in volume terms, sales decreased 0.7%, reflecting higher prices at the pump.

Food and beverages stores increased by 0.4%, beer, wine and liquor stores increased by 2.4%, and specialty food stores increased by 1.0%  in April. This offset small declines at supermarkets and other grocery stores which saw  -0.1% and convenience stores which had -0.6%. 

Sales at miscellaneous store retailers saw an increase of 2.8%.

Following relatively flat sales in March, motor vehicle and parts dealers edged up 0.1% primarily on the strength of sales at new car dealers which increased by 1.2%.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers both saw a decline -2.6% and clothing and clothing accessories stores decreased by -1.5% in April. Despite these declines, sales in both sub-sectors remained above February levels.

Sales increase in four provinces
Sales in both Ontario (+0.9%) and Alberta (+1.6%) continued their upward trend, rising for the third consecutive month. The gains in April for both provinces came from higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. 

Retail sales in Quebec (-1.3%) were down for the first time in 2019, due in large part to lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers. Sales in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Montréal declined 1.1% in April. 

In British Columbia, sales decreased 0.5%, with sales in the CMA of Vancouver down 1.7%. Excluding sales in Vancouver, retail sales in British Columbia increased.

E-commerce sales by Canadian retailers
Retail e-commerce sales also increased. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted, however, retail e-commerce sales reached $1.6 billion, representing 3% of total retail sales in April 2019. Compared with April 2018, retail e-commerce increased 14.9% in April 2019, while total unadjusted retail sales increased 5.0%. 

Source Statistics Canada