Canadian Industrial Outlook: Retail Trade—June 2022

The Conference Board of Canada, June 1, 2022
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This report examines the short-and medium-term economic and profitability outlook for Canada’s retail trade industry.

Document Highlights

  • Total output in the retail industry is expected to fall by 0.6 per cent in 2022 but increase by 1.6 per cent in 2023.
  • High savings among consumers have helped retailers maintain high volumes despite higher prices. But once those savings are spent, consumers will be more conscious of higher prices.
  • Labour shortages pose a major problem. The industry has a high jobs vacancy rate and will likely need to increase wages to attract more workers.
  • Among the segments, performances will vary widely. Gasoline and food will benefit from higher prices, while auto dealers will continue to face supply chain issues.
  • Industry profit margins increased over the last two years, thanks mostly to higher prices. Rising costs and less ability to fully pass on these higher costs will challenge profit margins moving forward.

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