July 15, 2013
Canadian consumer spending up 3.61 per cent in Q2
TORONTO - Canadian consumer spending jumped 3.61 per cent in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year - with increases of 3.53 per cent in April, 4.38 per cent in May and 3.17 per cent in June, according to Moneris. Similar to Q1, year-over-year debit card spending (4.06 per cent) continued to outpace credit card spending (3.41 per cent). This may indicate that concerns over reported rising household debt levels continue to be top of mind for Canadians in their purchasing decisions.
The restaurant category led the growth in spending in Q2, with a 4.17 per cent year-over-year increase, followed by retail and entertainment, at 3.98 per cent and 2.42 per cent, respectively. While the Moneris Spending Report suggests that Canadians' appetite for fast food continued to drive the spending growth within the restaurant category - with an increase in dollars spent of 10.19 per cent, compared to the same period in 2012 - fast-food spending volumes fell throughout the second quarter (11.53 per cent in April, 8.07 per cent in May and 7.25 per cent in June).
Book stores experienced the highest level of growth within the retail category (16.88 per cent), compared to Q2 2012, followed by bicycle shops (8.84 per cent) and pet stores (8.02 per cent). In fact, bicycle shop sales saw steady increases in dollars spent throughout the quarter, at 5.32 per cent in April, 10.58 per cent in May and 7.81 per cent in June, compared to the same period last year.
Grocery spending, on the other hand, fell by -1.07 per cent in Q2, compared to the same period in 2012. For the second straight quarter, apparel category sales continued to lag in Q2, compared to the same period last year, with a modest increase in spending of 0.46 per cent. Despite this overall trend, Q2 sports apparel spending grew 7.45 per cent.
Nationally, New Brunswick replaced Alberta as Canada's highest-spending province in Q2, with a growth of 6.61 per cent in consumer spending, compared to Q2 2012. While Alberta saw its Q2 2013 spending grow in April (6.32 per cent) and May (7.46 per cent), its consumer spending dropped significantly in June (3.90 per cent), likely a result of devastating floods that recently affected the province. Overall, however, Alberta placed second in Canada in terms of overall spending in Q2 2013, with a 6.10 per cent spending increase, compared to the same period last year.
Conversely, PEI (3.80 per cent), Nova Scotia (2.29 per cent), British Columbia (1.99 per cent) and Quebec (0.27 per cent) experienced the lowest levels of growth in Q2, compared to the same period in 2012. However, despite modest growth in April (2.24 per cent) and May (0.41 per cent), PEI saw its consumer spending jump significantly in June (11.07 per cent), likely due to the island's busy summer tourism season. Ontario was situated in the middle of the pack in terms of overall spending, with an increase of 4.19 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
"Despite a slight dip in June, Canada's consumer spending continued to experience steady growth in the second quarter," said Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Moneris. "Given the consistent pattern of spending increases over the first two quarters of 2013, we anticipate this positive trend will continue into Q3 and the holiday season."