By Erica Alini - Friday, February 22, 2013 - 0 Comments
- December retails sales were nothing like analysts had expected. In the holiday shopping month par excellence, Canadians actually reined in their spending, sending retail sales down 2.1 per cent from the previous month, well below the consensus forecast of a 0.3 per cent decline.
- Compared to December 2011, sales were down 0.7 per cent, the worst performance since October 2009.
- Weak new auto sales were the biggest drag on the retail sector, dropping 7.7 per cent from November.
- But most stores typically associated with the Christmas shopping frenzy saw meagre activity at the cash register as well. Sales of electronics and appliances, in particular, tumbled 12.1 per cent.
- Regionally, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec recorded the deepest slumps, with sales down about 2.5 per cent in all three provinces from the prior month.
What the analysts think:
- Black Friday cannibalized non-auto December sales, said CIBC’s Emanuella Enenajor. The strongest piece of evidence for that are the dismal sales of electronics, a typical Black Friday purchase.
- A bleak December for merchants bodes ill for Canada’s fourth-quarter GDP (due out next week), noted RBC’s Paul Ferley. Expect a modest 0.5 per cent annualized gain in the last three months of 2012, well below the Bank of Canada’s forecast of one per cent growth.
- Looking at the glass half-full, TD’s Dina Ignjatovic noted that the retail slowdown is likely a sign that consumer spending is falling in line with the Canada’s slower pace of growth.
By Erica Alini - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM - 0 Comments
- Retail sales edged up 0.2 per cent in November, the fifth consecutive month of increases, Statistics Canada said this morning.
- Most of the growth came from autos and auto parts, which recorded a healthy 1.8 per cent increase, as well as electronics and appliances, whereas most other store types registered declines.
- In terms of volume, sales were up 0.8 per cent.
- October retail activity was revised down to 0.5 per cent from a previous estimate of 0.7 per cent.
What the analysts are saying:
- CIBC’s Emanuella Enenajor credited Black Friday for Canadians spending on electronics, home furnishing, sporting goods and hobby stores, and generous discounting for contributing to relatively high sales volumes.
- TD’s Leslie Preston calculated that, with the downward revision for October, consumer spending in the last three months of the year will likely come in at 1.9 per cent, a much more subdued pace than the 3.8 per cent registered between July and September. That’s all good, though: slower spending will help households draw down their debt, while low interest rates and a decent labour market will ensure Canadians don’t suppress their shopping instincts entirely.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A new study suggests almost two-thirds of Canadian adults would rather see…
TORONTO – A new study suggests almost two-thirds of Canadian adults would rather see a donation to charity on their behalf rather than receive a gift this holiday season.
The poll for BMO Harris Private Banking also found that 78 per cent of respondents would consider making that charitable donation rather than giving a traditional gift.
The survey also found that nearly half of Canadians (45 per cent) volunteered their time in 2012.
The bank does caution that people need to beware of fraudulent charities, notably solicitations made over the phone.
It advises you ask for the charity’s registered name, address and telephone number and double check with the Canada Revenue Agency to make sure it’s a legitimate outfit — and always ask for a tax receipt.
The findings are based on two surveys conducted for the bank by Pollara between Nov. 2 and 9 and Dec. 6 and 10. Both surveys polled 1,000 Canadians 18 and over and are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
By Erica Alini - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 10:10 AM - 0 Comments
Canadian retail sales were essentially flat in September, Statistics Canada said today. In terms of prices, sales edged up for the third consecutive month but only by a meagre 0.1 per cent, below the consensus forecast of a 0.5 per cent increase. In terms of volume, retail activity was flat.
With economic growth hovering around a modest two per cent, household balance sheets deeply in the red and the housing market cooling in many areas of the country, Canadian shoppers’ lack of enthusiasm is hardly surprising.
But there might have been another reason for nearly flat sales in September. As Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Dov Zigler wrote in a note to clients before StatsCan’s release:
By The Canadian Press - Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:49 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A RBC holiday outlook suggests Canadians may be a little more frugal…
TORONTO – A RBC holiday outlook suggests Canadians may be a little more frugal this festive season.
The RBC Canadian Consumer Outlook found that while the majority of Canadians appear to be in a gift-giving mood, they plan on spending less over the holidays than they did last year.
The survey suggests Canadians who celebrate year-end festivities will spend $1,182 on gifts, decorations, entertaining and travel — a figure which is down six per cent from last year’s anticipated amount.
The bank says this season’s holiday spending plans appear to be more in line with Canadians’ 2010 holiday purchasing plans.
The survey suggests shoppers who plan on buying gifts are likely to shell out $629 on their purchases, down from the $640 anticipated last year.
RBC also suggests Canadians plan to cut their spending on holiday expenses other than gifts by 10 per cent from last year.
“It’s clear that Canadians are conscious of their finances and are taking a closer look at what they can afford this holiday season,” said Chris McEachern, financial planning role strategist, RBC Financial Planning.
The results of the RBC survey released Thursday stand in contrast to findings from some other analysts, who believe Canadians will be more generous with their finances over the holidays this year.
A Bank of Montreal survey released earlier this month projected an average 15 per cent jump in holiday spending over last Christmas, with respondents planning to spend $1,610 this season. And an report Ernst & Young predicted Canadian holiday sales would rise 3.5 per cent over last year, supported by signs of improvement in consumer confidence.
Meanwhile, a study from Deloitte projected Canadians will spend one to two per cent more this holiday season, but an increasing number will check for the best prices online before they head to the mall in a season it expects to be highly price competitive.
RBC’s survey, however, suggests Canadians will be tightening their belts.
It found 56 per cent of respondents plan to fund their festivities with their savings, while 24 per cent intend to use credit cards.
Meanwhile, 23 per cent of those surveyed say they haven’t thought about how they’ll pay for the holiday season.
RBC suggests that a little financial preparation for the holidays is likely to go a long way.
“No matter how you choose to purchase your gifts, whether it’s with debit or credit cards, in store or online, knowing how you’ll cover your holiday expenses is crucial to avoiding unwanted debt and ensuring you are in good financial shape for the new year,” McEachern said.
“A little planning ahead of your holiday shopping can make all the difference.”
The online survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid and involved 3,375 Canadians across the country between Oct. 1 to Oct. 10. The poll is accurate to within plus or minus 1.9 percentage points of the entire Canadian population.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, November 5, 2012 at 4:40 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Some of Ontario’s biggest malls are going to be open even longer…
TORONTO – Some of Ontario’s biggest malls are going to be open even longer than usual on Black Friday in hopes of keeping Canadian shoppers close to home rather than crossing the U.S. border in search of bargains.
Mall operator Cadillac Fairview Corp. said Monday that it will extend the hours at nine of its properties on Nov. 23, which will be one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States.
The day, dubbed Black Friday, takes its name from the assumption that it marks the day when retailers turn a profit for the year or go “into the black.”
Retailers in Canada — where Thanksgiving is in early October — have been increasingly under competitive pressure from Black Friday deep discounts promoted in the United States.
This year’s shopping season could prove particularly competitive for Canadian businesses after the federal government relaxed cross-border shopping rules in June.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM - 3 Comments
Are Canadian consumers about to hit their breaking point?
By Steve Maich - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 3 Comments
The new normal: Call it frugality if you like. We call it sanity.
When will things go back to normal? That is the only question that seems to matter: when will this strange and frightening episode pass? It’s a fair question, but not exactly the right one. What most really mean is: when will my house price begin soaring again? How long before my stocks triple? And when will I feel safe to max out my credit cards again? Over the past 15 years that became “normal,” or at least common. But that isn’t coming back soon.
The reality is, everything we see happening around us is part of the process of returning to normal. For the past decade or so the laws of financial gravity were suspended. Now they are back in force, and those who soared the highest have the furthest to fall.