Canada’s November retail sales down 0.2% m/m led by food and beverages

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada posted a surprise 0.2% month-on-month decline in retail sales in November led by a slowdown in sales of food and beverages at retail outlets, data showed on Friday, with consumers strained by high interest rates and sticky inflation.

However, retail sales are likely to rebound in December, Statistics Canada said in a report. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected sales to be flat in November from October.

November retail sales totaled C$66.6 billion ($49.45 billion). Food and beverage sales fell 1.4% from the previous month, the agency said in a flash estimate.

Sales dropped in four out of nine subsectors and in volume terms were down 0.2% from October. Motor vehicle and parts dealers posted a rise of 0.5%, a third consecutive monthly gain.

Core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers, fell 0.6% in November. However, clothing, clothing accessories, shoes, jewelry, luggage and leather goods retailers rose 1.5%, the biggest component gain.

($1 = 1.3468 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)