Global Markets: Slight bump in retail sales during August

C$192 million net increase in sales

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Oct. 21 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday that retail sales in August increased 0.5 per cent from July, marking the fourth straight month that sales rose. The C$192 million net increase was due to improved sales in building materials, garden equipment, as well as food and beverage. Decreases came in sales of sporting goods, hobby, book, music and home furnishings, while clothing sales remained steady. Statistics Canada indicated retail sales for September could prove to be flat.

– The political parties in Canada’s House of Commons have engaged in a game of chicken this week, creating the possibility of a snap federal election. The opposition Conservatives demanded a corruption committee be formed to investigate the Liberal government’s dealings with the WE Charity. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated a vote in the House would be considered a confidence motion. Should the Liberals lose the vote that could trigger Canadians going to the polls before the end of the year.

– Despite record grain shipments Canadian National Railway reported earnings fell 18 per cent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CN’s third quarter net income totaled C$985 million, down from C$1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2019. Also, Canada’s largest railway experienced a V-shaped recovery in ports, lumber and automotive, but there was weakness in crude oil, frac sand and refined petroleum products. CN scored seven consecutive months of record grain shipments this year and expects strong shipments to continue into 2021.

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