Cars are roaring off the lots in Canada, and their record sales figures nudged overall Canadian retail month-by-month trade stats up by almost a percent.
Statistics Canada reported sales figures of $42 billion for May. That’s a hike of 0.7 percent over numbers clocked in April — more than the 0.6 percent median forecasted by a recent Bloomberg economist survey. May’s gain was the second in two months.
Statistics Canada’s New Motor Vehicle Sales Survey reported a record 197,740 units sold in May.
Motor vehicle and parts sales increased to $10 billion in that month, when new car dealership receipts rose 2.3 percent. That’s on the heels of a 3.5 percent increase in April. Light trucks were at the forefront of this climb, with record sales of 197,740 vehicles.
Sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers account for just under one quarter of Canada’s total retail sales. That’s a big chunk, and so their 2.5 percent climb in May was meaningful. Indeed, if you extract car and gas sales from the mix, these new numbers are less encouraging: retail sales actually shrunk by 0.3 percent.
Still, sales advanced in seven of 11 categories that together make up 56 percent of total sales. A “delayed start to spring” that hiked activity at building material and gardening stores also accounted for some of May’s record gain. Sales in these sectors rose 3.5 percent to $2.34 billion.
And the report, released July 23, showed a 3.7 percent gain at furniture and home furnishing stores.