Government of Nova Scotia, Canada

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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

March 24, 2023

MONTH OVER MONTH (seasonally adjusted January 2023 vs. December 2022)

In Nova Scotia retail trade increased 4.0% to $1.82 billion. Nationally, retail trade increased 1.4% to $66.4 billion. All provinces reported increasing retail sales in January 2023, led by Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba. Quebec and Ontario reported the smallest gains.

YEAR OVER YEAR (seasonally adjusted January 20232 vs. January 2022)

Nova Scotia's retail trade increased 13.1% compared with January 2022. Nationally, retail trade increased 5.0%. All provinces reported year-over-year increases in retail trade, with Nova scotia, Alberta, and Manitoba reporting the largest gains. Ontario reported the smallest increase.



The largest dollar contributions to rising retail sales came from gas stations, general merchandise stores, new car dealers, and health and personal care stores.  In percentages terms, shoes and other motor vehicles stores reported the fastest retail sales growth. Used car dealers, supermarkets, home furnishings, electronics/ appliance as well as jewellery/luggage reported falling retail sales in January 2023.  


Nova Scotia's retail sales followed national trends (albeit with more volatility) prior to and during the pandemic.  Since the last major pandemic-related restrictions were eased in 2021, Nova Scotia's retail sales have outpaced national retail sales growth.  



In January 2023, Canada's ecommerce sales decreased -4.7% to $3.32 billion, or 5.0% of total retail sales.

Notes: Statistics Canada noted that "As of the January 2023 reference period, Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) figures are now based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2022 classification structure. This new classification structure has, in effect, broadened the scope of the MRTS results.

Table 20-10-0008 has been archived. Seasonally adjusted estimates in NAICS 2022 are now available in table 20-10-0056 starting in 2017. Unadjusted estimates starting in 2017 are now available in table 20-10-0056.

Table 20-10-0078 has also been archived. Volume estimates and indices in NAICS 2022 starting in 2017 are now available in table 20-10-0067."

Source: Statistics Canada.  Table 20-10-0056-01 Monthly retail trade sales by province and territory (x 1,000)

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