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Canada’s September retail sales reports first decline in 5 months; October CPI up 1 per cent

FXStreet (Mumbai) - Cheaper gasoline price caused Canadian retail sales to report their first decline in five months in September. Statistics Canada today said retail sales decreased 0.5 per cent to $43.3-billion. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had estimated a 0.1 per cent increase, based on the median of 18 projections. Excluding price changes, sales rose 0.1 per cent in September. Spending was at near record high in a year.

Consumers feel threatened by record debt burdens. Incomes have also been hurt by a drop in crude oil prices. The Bank of Canada cut interest rates twice in 2015 to 0.5 per cent and has warned growth will slow down in 2016 on by a drop in energy investment.

Sales fell in eight of eleven categories representing 60 per cent of total receipts. Gasoline station sales fell 3.7 per cent in September to $4.54-billion on lower prices. Motor vehicle and parts sales fell for the first time in eight months, by 0.5 per cent to $11-billion. Clothing and accessories sales fell 1.2 per cent to $2.5-billion.

Sales in September were 1.2 per cent higher than a year earlier, Statistics Canada said.

Higher food prices responsible for rise in CPI

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1.0% in the 12 months to October, matching September figure. October CPI was impacted by the lower energy prices led by the gasoline index, which was down 17.1% in the 12 months to October.

Prices were up in seven of the eight major components on a year-over-year basis in October. Higher food prices contributed to the rise in the CPI in the month. Food prices were up 4.1% year over year in October, following a 3.5% rise in September. Higher prices for food purchased from stores which increased 4.6% year over year in October led to an overall increase in food prices. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were also up, rising 2.7% year over year.

Increases in the shelter index as well as the household operations, furnishings and equipment index also led to an increased CPI.

On the other hand the transportation index recorded its 12th consecutive year-over-year decline. The transportation index fell 3.2% year over year in October, after having fallen 3.5% in September. Gasoline prices, which fell 2.0% on a month-over-month basis in October is responsible for the smaller decline. The natural gas index also fell 10.9% in the 12 months to October.

The index for recreation, education and reading rose 1.9% in the 12 months to October on higher traveller accommodation index, which was up 4.8% year over year in October.

Property taxes rose 3.0% on a year-over-year basis, after being up 2.2% year over year since last October.

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