The cold weather didn’t keep Saskatchewan shoppers from hitting the stores in the New Year, as January retail sales in the province soared to $1.54 billion.
This marks a 2.5 per cent increase from December 2013, one of the busiest shopping months of the year, and a 4.0 per cent increase from January 2013. Overall, Saskatchewan and British Columbia tied for the third highest year-over-year retail sale increases in the country.
“We’ve seen a lot of job growth, population growth and economic growth in our province, so it’s great to see that the retail sales are following that pattern,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said. “It tells us that the people of Saskatchewan are reaping the benefits of our growing economy, and have more disposable income to spend on the goods and services they desire.”
Year-over-year, the areas that saw the largest retail gains include: used car dealers (44.1 per cent increase), jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores (15.6 per cent increase), gasoline stations (14.5 per cent increase) and specialty foods stores (12.6 per cent increase).
Nationally, retail sales rose to $40.7 billion in January, a 1.3 per cent increase from December 2013 and 3.7 per cent year-over-year increase; Saskatchewan is ahead of both national averages.
“When our hard working men and women have more money to spend at local retailers, it not only supports economic growth, but it helps build upon the great quality of life that we have come to appreciate in this province,” Boyd said.