Business

Retail sales slipped to $50.4B in November

Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.9 per cent to $50.4 billion in November.

Canadians bought $54.4 million worth of cannabis in November, the first full month when it was legal

Canadians spent just over $50 billion at retailers in November, a figure that was slightly below what economists were expecting. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press)

Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.9 per cent to $50.4 billion in November.

Economists had expected a drop of 0.6 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Statistics Canada says the move lower came as sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers dropped.

Excluding these two subsectors, retail sales increased 0.2 per cent.

Sales of cannabis came in at $54.4 million for the month. That's up by 26 per cent from October's level of $43.1 million, when sales were only legal from October 17th onward.

"Retail figures will vary as new stores continue to come on line and the marketplace continues to evolve in the period following legalization," the data agency said.

Overall, sales were down in six of 11 subsectors, representing 75 per cent of retail trade.

Retail sales in volume terms fell 0.4 per cent.

With files from CBC News