What today’s retail sales and inflation data say about the Canadian economy

Closure of Target stores in Canada continues to impact retail sales.

Data from Statistics Canada on Friday revealed retail sales disappointed in April while inflation was stronger than expected.

It was more confusing data about precisely how well the Canadian economy is rebounding following a dismal first quarter, in which gross domestic product shrank an unexpected 0.6%.

Nevertheless, listed here are five themes in Friday’s data that Canadians should pay attention to in the coming months.


Food is quickly getting more expensive

“Aside from energy, food prices continue being a theme within the inflation data,” said Nick Exarhos economist at?CIBC World Markets.

Consumers paid 3.8% more for their food in May when compared during the same time this past year. Meat prices were a big factor, up 7.9% year over year. But Canadians were paying more for everything: prices for vegetables were up 5.8%, bakery products were up 3% and fresh fruit prices were up 2.9%. Canadians also spent more to eat out, with restaurant prices up 2.9% from last year.

“Food costs happen to be trending near, or over 4% for the past many months, and highlight how a cheaper Canadian dollar is boosting imported prices,” said Exarhos.