Canadian retail sales fell in December

Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.8 per cent in December to $49.6 billion as gains in new car sales were more than offset by lower sales at electronics and appliance stores and general merchandise retailers.

The numbers may be an indication that many Canadians are now getting the bulk of their holiday shopping done in November, when they can take advantage of Black Friday sales.

“December isn’t what it used to be for retail sales, and that showed up in the 2017 figures,” CIBC economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a research note. “A change in seasonality towards an early holiday shopping pattern with the advent of Black Friday sales and the like explain part of the weakness,” he added.

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