Grocery store sales down 1.6% in September: StatsCan

Sales at supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores all fell in September, the agency said

Retail sales fell 0.5% to $61.1 billion in September led by a drop in sales at gas stations along with food and beverage stores, Statistics Canada said Tuesday (NOV. 22).

However, the agency said its initial estimate for October pointed to a gain of 1.5% for the month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.

"Retail sales fell in September; though the drop was smaller in volume terms, real spending took a notable step back in the third quarter,'' BMO economist Shelly Kaushik wrote in a report.

"However, solid advance estimates for retail and manufacturing sales, as well as wholesale trade, point to a recovery in October.''

For September, Statistics Canada said sales at gas stations fell 2.4% as sales in volume terms at gas stations rose 4.2%, but gas prices fell 7.4%.

Sales at food and beverage stores dropped 1.3% in September, as supermarkets and grocery store sales fell 1.6% and convenience stores lost 1.5%.

Core retail sales -- which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers -- fell 0.4% in September.

In volume terms, retail sales fell 0.1% in September.

Retail sales for the third quarter as a whole were down 1%, the first quarterly decline since they fell 11.9% in the second quarter of 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

Retail sales in volume terms were down 1.4% in the third quarter of 2022.

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