Grocery sales barely outpace food inflation in February

4/21/2011

Sales at supermarkets in Canada rose 0.4 per cent in February compared to the previous month.

That was slightly less than the 0.9% increase the retail grocery sector experienced in January, according to Statistics Canada.

The increase for February just managed to outpace food-price inflation of 0.3% for the month.

However, grocery sales are up 2.4 per cent compared to the same month last year. Food inflation was up 2.2 per cent during the same period.

In February, overall food and beverage store sales rose 0.3 per cent to $8.5 billion, the second consecutive monthly increase. The gain was led by a 0.9 per cent hike at beer and wine and liquor stores.

Specialty food retailers experienced a 2.4 per cent drop while convenience stores saw a 0.5 per cent decline.

Statistics Canada said total retail sales, including clothing, electronics, cars and furniture, grew 0.4 per cent, offsetting most of the decline experienced in January.

Not surprising, the sector with the highest increase was gasoline stations. They saw a 1.3 per cent rise in sales month-to-month and an astounding 18.5% year-over-year.

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