Retail or consumer spending went up in Saskatchewan in September, tracking in the opposite direction from most of the country.
Only Ontario and New Brunswick posted strong retail sales figures in the month.
These numbers come in a month when prices for most things were starting to fall as higher interest rates were pushing people towards more restraint. This was especially true in two important categories – food and gasoline – but the trend towards lower prices had begun.
So, with falling prices and higher spending, the tea leaves suggest Saskatchewan consumers were feeling somewhat bullish about their prospects as overall expenditures rose a half point for the month and nearly nine per cent for the year ending in September. Total retail spending in the province exceeded $2 billion for the sixth consecutive month.
Nationally, consumers seemed to favour a “store with a door” as e-commerce traffic volume fell by a tenth of a point as online purchases accounted for a little more than five per cent of total retail spending in the month.