Retail Sales Off 10% in March

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CBJ — Retail sales across the country plunged by 10% in March and the numbers are expected to be even worse when April’s data is released.

According to the figures released by Statistics Canada the decline in March was the worst ever since record-keeping began.

The 10% plunge in retail sales is the equivalent of more than $47 billion being lost as thousands of non-essential businesses shut their doors by the middle of March. It stands to reason that April will provide even more grim figures because an entire month’s worth of losses will be recognized, as opposed to 15 days in March.

Statistics Canada has made preliminary projections, which indicate at least a 15% drop will likely be in store for April, which was the first full month of the pandemic shutdown.

Auto sales were down more than 35% in March while clothing stores felt a 52% drop in sales.

Perhaps not surprisingly food and beverage stores gained almost 23%, with more people at home, making more frequent visits to the kitchen.

Gross domestic product figures will be released in a week.


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