Canadian retail sales posted strong, broad based growth in April, rising 1.1 per cent with sales higher in 10 of 11 retail sub-sectors. In inflation-adjusted terms, retail sales rose 0.8 per cent. Retail sales in BC posted a second consecutive month of strong growth, rising 1.6 per cent in April . On a year-over-year basis, retail sales grew 7.1 per cent, the fastest year-over-year growth since April 2010. Through the first four months of the year, retail sales in BC are up 5 per cent.
Canadian inflation accelerated again in May as consumer prices rose 2.3 per cent over the previous twelve months. As expected, the increase was largely explained by rising energy prices, including a 6.3 per cent gain in gasoline prices and a 21 per cent gain in the price of natural gas. The Bank of Canada's index of core inflation, which strips out the most volatile components of the CPI, such as food and energy prices, increased 1.7 per cent in May, a 0.3 point increase from April. If maintained in subsequent months, continued momentum in core prices could shift the Bank of Canada closer to tightening interest rates.
Inflation measured in BC continues to normalize as the elimination of the HST fades from prices. Consumer prices in the provinces rose 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to May. That increase follows several months of inflation reading at close to, or even below, zero.