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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

April 21, 2023

MONTH OVER MONTH (seasonally adjusted February 2023 vs. January 2023)

In Nova Scotia retail trade decreased 2.3% to $1,789 million. Nationally, retail trade declined 0.2% to $66.3 billion. Four provinces reported monthly increases in retail trade. New Brunswick reported the largest gain, and British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan reported the largest declines.

YEAR OVER YEAR (February 2023 vs. February 2022)

In Nova Scotia retail trade increased 4.8%. Nationally, retail trade increased 4.3%. Nine provinces reported year-over-year increases in retail trade. Prince Edward Island reported the largest gain with British Columbia reporting the only decline.

YEAR TO DATE (January-February 2023 vs January-February 2022)

Nova Scotia retail trade increased 9.1%. Nationally, retail trade increased 4.7%. All provinces reported year-to-date increases in retail trade, with Prince Edward Island and Alberta reporting double-digit gains. British Columbia  reported the smallest gain.


Retail Trade increased 9.8% to $3.6 billion.  In dollar terms, Motor vehicles/Parts ($619 million), Food & beverage stores ($598 million), Gas stations ($511 million) and  General merchandise ($361 million) contributed most to year-to-date sales.

In percentage terms, electronics/appliances and food and beverage recorded year-to-date declines.  Other retail categories that had significant year-to-date increases included gas stations, clothing stores, health/personal care stores and miscellaneous retail.



Retail sales moved sharply during periods of pandemic-related restrictions. National and Nova Scotia’s retail sales have followed similar trend in recent months with Nova Scotia growth index exceeding the national index in September through February 2023. 


In February 2023, Canada's ecommerce sales increased 7.8% to $3.66 billion, or 5.5% of total retail sales.

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 20-10-0008-01  Retail trade sales by province and territory (x 1,000)Table 20-10-0072-01  Retail e-commerce sales (x 1,000)

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