Canadian Retail Sales Jump, Offsetting November Losses

Canadian consumers remained resilient in December, even in the face of elevated inflation and rising interest rates, Bloomberg News reported. Receipts for retailers jumped 0.5% last month, according to an advance estimate released Friday by Statistics Canada. That follows a 0.1% drop in November, which was led by lower sales of food and beverages, as well as building material and garden supplies. The increase in December more than offsets the lower-than-expected losses in November and adds to a 1.3% gain in October, ending last year with relatively strong retail sales. The data show household spending may be holding up better than expected in the fourth quarter, and point to a delayed start to what's expected to be a consumption-led gearing down of economic growth. Economists see a technical recession in the first two quarters of this year. The statistics agency didn't provide details of the December number, which is based on responses from 33.5% of companies surveyed. Read more.