Signs of Life: Retail Spending in BC Gaining Some Strength

After more than a year of moving sideways, retail spending in BC is finally showing some signs of strengthening. As shown in the figure below, over the past four months the total value of spending in all retail outlets in the province edged higher. Looking at year-over-year growth (shown in the second figure) the improvement is more evident, with the most recent September data up 3.1% over September of 2012. While this gain is shy of a 5 to 6% pace that is more commonly associated with robust domestic economic conditions, the upturn does hint at some forward momentum in consumer spending going into the final months of 2013. This could augur well for retail businesses in BC next year.