Canadian December Retail Sales drop 5.4 percent

This is from the CP.

It seems that Canada is less immune from the global recession than was first thought. Only last fall Flaherty was telling us how well off Canada was. At least he has dropped all that and adopte a more realistic stance. However his stimulus package is relatively small and it is not clear how much it will achieve.

December retail sales suffer biggest monthly drop in over 15 years
1 hour ago
OTTAWA — Widespread declines in all sectors pushed retail sales down 5.4 per cent in December to $33 billion - the largest monthly decline in over 15 years.
Statistics Canada says three-quarters of the December retail decline was rooted in the automotive sector, without which retail sales fell 1.8 per cent. In volume terms, the agency says retail sales fell 4.1 per cent, mostly reflecting a large reduction in unit sales of motor vehicles at new-car dealers.
The automotive sector posted, by far, the largest monthly decline in December, with sales falling 12.7 per cent, mostly on a 15.1 per cent sales decline at new-car dealers, who suffered their largest monthly drop in sales numbers since January 1998.
Sales at gasoline stations fell 11.7 per cent in December, and have dropped 28.8 per cent since September 2008, largely reflecting falling prices at the pump.
In non-automotive retailing, the largest decline in December was in building and outdoor home supplies, where retail sales fell 5.6 per cent.
Significant monthly decreases were also registered in sectors traditionally associated with holiday shopping.
Sales in the clothing and accessories stores sector fell 3.7 per cent in December, continuing several months of declines. Sales at furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores and miscellaneous retailers (such as sporting goods and book stores) declined by more than two per cent. Sales at general merchandise stores fell 0.4 per cent.
Retail sales fell by at least three per cent in all provinces in December, with the largest decline coming in Alberta, at 6.2 per cent. Ontario retail sales fell six per cent.
Countrywide, retail sales increased 3.2 per cent to $425.3 billion in 2008, following gains of 5.8 per cent in 2007 and 6.4 per cent in 2006. In volume terms, retail sales rose 2.9 per cent in 2008, compared with 5.2 per cent in 2007.

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