Paul Martin’s Business Update – January 26th, 2015

Jan 26, 2015, 07:17 PM

Revenues at the province’s retail outlets saw a bit of a pullback in November when compared to October.

That may come as a bit of a surprise for a market that has consistently produced growth in retail numbers since the beginning of this century. But, it turns out there were a couple factors at play here.

First is the price of gasoline. Falling pump prices led to lower revenues or sales volume for this segment of the retail community. It’s not that we’re buying less fuel, it’s just that it is cheaper.

The second big factor was cold weather which triggered an increase in sales activity for companies that sell winter clothing. That was felt across the country, not just in Saskatchewan.

Overall, revenues for retailers dropped about a half percentage point from October to November. It was still better than November of last year, by about two-and-a-half points which is roughly in line with inflation. Something to watch for in the future, though, is price increases in imports – things such as fresh fruit and vegetables - as the Canadian dollar’s decline starts to show up at the retail counter.