Retail sales in Canada fell unexpectedly in August, dropping by 0.3% instead of the forecast 0.5% increase.
Canadian retail sales fell by 0.3% in August. Sales fell in 8 of 11 sectors, and sales volumes were down 0.7%, representing the biggest drop since March of 2016.
Sales were down 2.5% at food and beverage stores, due to fewer sales at grocery stores and supermarkets. Spending on furniture and building materials also declined.
Auto sales and auto parts sales were one of the few sectors to increase, with sales going up by 0.7%.
The decline in retail sales would have been even worse, if not for increased sales at gas stations. Sales at gas stations were up 3.1% in August, though this was mostly because of higher prices, not more volume.
After the retail sales data was released, the Canadian dollar fell below 80 cents US.
Negative economic data has been accumulating as of late, as record household debt, rising deficits, falling exports, and a widening trade deficit raises concerns about the future of the Canadian economy.