The loonie may be lagging, but that doesn’t mean Canadian retailers aren’t in for a banner holiday season. The latest MonerisMetrics quarterly report shows shoppers haven’t slowed on their spending; Q3 expenditure numbers rose for the fourth consecutive quarter by 6.68 per cent, with the year’s highest sales volumes expected throughout the winter months. After all – Black Friday and Boxing Day are just around the corner!
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“We saw healthy increases in Canadian consumer spending last quarter, consistent with Statistics Canada’s finding that retail sales climbed in July and August, with sales rising more than expected in August,” said Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris. “This trend suggests Canadian consumers are feeling confident, and is a positive sign for retailers as we enter the busy holiday shopping season.”
British Columbia lead spending growth with a 10.2 per cent increase, followed by Ontario with a 9 per cent increase.
What Are We Spending On?
According to the Moneris report, we’re eating our cash; the restaurant sector improved 9.31 per cent this year, with fast food leading growth at 15.41 per cent, followed by bars and pubs at 8.88 per cent and dine-in restaurants at 6.57 per cent.
We’re also frequenting the mall more than ever; specialty spending rose 7.78 per cent led by home electronics, pet shops, and women’s accessories.
The report reflects a key shift in our nation’s economic engine; Canadians spent less on gasoline, which experienced some of its lowest price points during the summer season.
Spending Stays Strong Across the Border
Despite the weak dollar, international spending remained strong; foreign credit card use, especially in the U.S., increased by 12.48 per cent over the summer. Domestically, Chinese spending in Canada jumped by 30.23 per cent in Canada as we have become one of the top tourist destinations for the Chinese. China exports $53.1 billion – or 11.5 per cent – to Canada, making them one of Canada’s top trade partners.
Canadians Remain Confident in Spending Power
Even with the dollar at an 11-year low, Canadians appear confident in their spending abilities; a good sign for retailers forecasting a healthy increase in sales over the holidays. However, Canadians looking to shop across the border should keep the current exchange rate in mind – those deeply discounted deals may just not be worth it once you factor in the dollar disparity and travel time. This is especially important when shopping online; stay updated on what the dollar is trading at on a regular basis to ensure no surprises when converting back to Canadian currency