StatsCan has just updated its retail or consumer spending numbers. They have final figures for May which showed a contraction across the country and preliminary figures for June show another decline.
Except in Saskatchewan.
We were the anomaly in May, one of only two provinces to show consumer spending increases and we had by far the strongest gain.
Nationally, there were two big factors at play in this decline. First, there was a drop in spending on everything automotive and for building materials. Secondly a large number of stores across the country reported being closed for at least one day in the month. Compounding this were supply chain interruptions that limited what many retailers could showcase.
Again, though, Saskatchewan was going in the other direction. Unlike all the other provinces, we saw increase in spending vehicles and parts and our stores were able to remain open as public health measures were among the most flexible in the nation. That resulted in a month-over-month increases of 1.7%, six-times higher than the gain seen in Manitoba while every other province experienced a pullback in consumer activity.