April 25, 2024

On Thursday, the S&P 500 was  down 0.5% while Toronto was roughly unchanged.

Meta was down 10.6% but of course remains a monster performer over the past couple of years and even more so in the long term.

Canadian restaurant and bar sales for February were reported yesterday and were strong. On a seasonally adjusted basis, February sales were up 3.8% versus January and up 4.4% year over year. For Alberta it was a 2.6% gain versus January and a 5.8% gain year over year.

On a raw non-seasonally adjusted basis the figures are: For Canada a 2.2% increase versus January (unadjusted) and a 7.7% increase year-over year. For Alberta a 2.7% increase versus January and an 8.4% increase year-over-year.

Notice the year-over-year gain differs quite a lot when seasonally adjusted versus not adjusted.  While February was the exact same season both years the different occurrence of weekend days could make a big difference for restaurant and bar sales.

Retail sales data for Canada were also reported yesterday and were somewhat weak. These are seasonally adjusted figures, which is what StatsCan always favors, and rightly so. For Canada February retail sales versus January were down a microscopic 0.1% – call it flat. Year over year they were up 1.2% which is not much growth given inflation (volume was likely down) and given the population increase.  For Alberta, there was a 1.1% decrease month-over-month and a 2.1% DROP year-over-year. With higher grocery prices adn higher interest rates people are apparently cutting back on non-discretionary purchasing. (Most of us have enough stuff already and can take a break). Not good news for the like of Canadian Tire.

Statistics Canada used to give nice summary tables with the percent change month over month and year over year and broken down by category and/or province. They seem to be doing a lot less of that more recently and it is very annoying.


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