Canada’s retail sales marginally fell in September, posting the third decline in five months. In line with expectations, seasonally adjusted sales fell 0.1 percent after rising a stronger revised 0.1 percent in August. Rounding out the third quarter, quarterly retail sales were up 0.5 percent following a 1.1 percent increase in the second quarter, while annual growth edged a tick lower to 1.0 percent. The monthly decrease was narrow based, however, dominated by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers (minus 1.0 percent) and gas stations (minus 2.3 percent). Excluding these two subsectors, monthly retail sales rose 0.7 percent.
The CN Rail strike is starting to impact the Canadian economy already, Quebec is facing an emergency shortage of propane and shipments of oil, grain and metal that are grinding to a halt. About 3,200 conductors and yard operators walked off the job Tuesday, snarling shipments from one of the world’s largest exporters of raw materials. The Quebec premier said its supply of propane is set to run out in four days, and the movement of freight destined for the U.S. and global markets stalled on Canada’s largest railway. Further disruptions could reduce Canada’s GDP by as much as $2.2 billion and it will continue to grow as the strike prolongs.