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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Retail Services Price Index, fourth quarter 2016

Thursday, May 18, 2017 > 09:57:26

Statistics Canada

The Retail Services Price Index (RSPI) declined 1.3% in the fourth quarter, with 5 of the 10 major retail subsectors posting margin declines.

Food and beverage stores (-2.8%) registered the largest retail margin decrease following three quarters of gains. Margin declines were concentrated at grocery stores (-4.6%), as retailers faced rising input costs and falling prices for many food staples. Moderating the subsector declines were margin gains at specialty food stores (+1.2%) and beer, wine and liquor stores (+0.5%).

General merchandise stores (-2.4%) posted margin declines in the fourth quarter. All other general merchandise stores (-7.3%) contributed the most to the decline during this period of holiday price promotions. Department stores and warehouse clubs are also included in this retail subsector.

Margins at gasoline stations (-3.2%) declined amidst low seasonal demand for fuel products and higher input costs for retailers. Both gasoline stations with convenience stores (-0.9%) and other gasoline stations (-4.2%) recorded margin declines. These three subsectors were the greatest contributors to the decline in the RSPI.

Moderating the decline in the RSPI were margin gains at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+1.3%), sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+2.2%) and miscellaneous store retailers (+0.3%).

Year-over-year change

The RSPI was up 1.1% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Of the 10 major retail sectors, 5 were up, 4 were down and 1 was unchanged.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+8.4%) recorded the highest year-over-year margin growth, followed by electronics and appliance stores (+4.6%). Miscellaneous store retailers (+2.9%), gasoline stations (+2.6%) and clothing and clothing accessories stores (+1.1%) were the remaining subsectors posting gains.

Margins decreased at health and personal care stores (-2.8%), sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (-1.2%), furniture and home furnishings stores (-0.7%) and food and beverage stores (-0.4%).

General merchandise stores' margins remained unchanged on a year-over-year basis.

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