The fight against inflation is starting to take hold.
One of the principal metrics we track to determine how consumers are reacting to measures such as higher interest rates is retail spending. This can be a reflection of lower or higher prices, of changes in discretionary spending habits or consumer confidence.
We have just received the March figures and they are down pretty much across the board, according to StatsCan. The federal agency adjusts its data for seasonality and variations such as March being three days longer than February. And what they see is sales declining in every province except BC. Further, the volume of purchases was down, which means lower prices for things such as gasoline do not explain the pull back.
Here in Saskatchewan, March was slower than February by nearly a full percentage point. That is one of the better performances nationally and remains almost four per cent ahead of the pace we were on a year ago, which is also stronger than the national average.