Canadian retail sales fell at the fastest pace in more than five years in December, on reduced holiday shopping and as a late start to winter snowfall curbed vehicle purchases.
Sales decreased 2.2 per cent to $43.2-billion, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The decline exceeded all 20 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey that had a median estimate of a 0.9 per cent fall.
Motor vehicle and parts sales fell 3.9 per cent to $11-billion, including a 6.7 per cent drop in the "other motor vehicle dealers" category that includes snowmobiles.
Sales declined in 10 of 11 categories marking 97 per cent of total sales. General merchandise receipts fell 2.2 per cent and at clothing stores they declined 3.6 per cent.