Retail growth slated for Atlantic Canada
Specific regions of Atlantic Canada are due to see a slight increase in retail sales, according to the latest RBC Economic Provincial Outlook issued by RBC Economics Research.
For example, Newfoundland and Labrador has exhibited somewhat stronger than expected retail sales growth. The group attributes this rise to the high percentage of the province's population that is now working – unemployment recently fell to the lowest point in a year.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward Island has similarly witnessed improved retail sales. Both exports and retail sales showed double-digit growth. However, the sudden surge has puzzled RBC because employment growth has been modest while population growth has also been stagnant, which are generally key drivers of improvements.
Additionally, Nova Scotia's retail sector was up and even covered the province's struggling exports.
"Excluding export performance, Nova Scotia's improved employment picture and its healthy increase in retail sales have supported moderate growth in the economy," noted Craig Wright, senior vice president and chief economist at RBC.
Retail has shown similar growth in the United States, with new data from the Commerce Department noting that while growth has slowed, it is still improving month over month.