Retail sales in Alberta are off to a strong start in 2021
Despite ongoing public health restrictions, retail sales in Alberta increased in January, the Alberta Treasury Branch reported.
Seasonally adjusted sales in the province were up by 2.5 per cent or $179 million, compared to December and by 6.5 per cent ($444 million), compared to January 2020.
Lower sales in Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories brought month-over-month spending in Canada as a whole down by 1.1 per cent (or $599 million).
However, only Ontario and Quebec posted sales below their January 2020 levels. Increases in the rest of the country pushed up the national total by 1.3 per cent ($655 million) compared to 12 months earlier, as reported by the ATB’s The OWL publication.
Retailers in Edmonton fared better than those in Calgary. Retail sales in Edmonton were up by about 9.3 per cent ($179 million) compared to 12 months earlier while sales in Calgary increased by only 0.7 per cent ($12 million).
Year-over-year sales in January outside the two big metros were up by 4.4 per cent or $96 million.
Provincial retail sales were down on a year-over-year basis in only two sectors: gasoline station sales were off by 21.6 per cent ($170 million) and clothing store sales were off by 21.3 per cent ($55 million).