With many of us changing the way we do our shopping – converting to on-line from in-person as part of the pandemic lockdowns – the chart created by the results of monthly reports on consumer or retail spending is going up and down with government rules.
We have just received November’s final figures and an early indication of where December is going to be when the tallies on Christmas spending as in. And what we saw was that November was a time for more in-person shopping and that generally triggered more activity. The preliminary figures for December show a big pull-back as lockdowns became more widespread.
In November, where we have more definitive numbers, Saskatchewan showed some strength with the best performance west of the Maritimes as month-over-month volume rose 2.2%. Interestingly, Manitoba where the lockdowns were most pronounced was the only province to show a reduction in activity in November.
The big increases were in spending on food and booze while the automotive and clothing sectors saw the largest reductions in November.