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:

May 24, 2024

Monthly (seasonally adjusted March 2024 vs February 2024)

In Nova Scotia retail trade increased 0.5% to $1,840 million. Nationally, retail trade decreased 0.2% to $66.4 billion. Six provinces reported monthly declines in retail trade led by Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan.Prin ce Edward Island reported the largest gain.

Year over year (March 2024 vs March 2023)

Nova Scotia retail trade increased 6.4% over the last year. Nationally, retail trade was up 1.9%. Seven provinces reported year-over-year increases in retail trade. New Brunswick reported the largest gains and Saskatchewan reported the largest decline.

Year-to-date (January-March 2024 vs January-March 2023)

Nova Scotia retail trade increased 4.3% year-to-date. Nationally, retail trade was up 1.0%. Seven provinces reported year-to-date increases in retail trade. New Brunswick reported the largest gain and Alberta reported the largest decline.

In dollar terms, motor vehicles/parts ($1,162 million), food/beverage ($957 million), gas stations ($793 million) and general merchandise stores ($623 million) contributed the most to Nova Scotia's January-March sales.  The largest year-to-date increases in percentage terms were reported in motor vehicles/parts, miscelaneous retail, and general merchandise. Sports/books/hobbies/music stores, electronic/appliances stores, building material stores, and health and personal care stores recorded year-to-date declines.




In recent months, Nova Scotia retail sales have been more volatile than the Canadian average - which is common for a smaller province - and exceeded national retail sales growth in recent months.  


In March 2024, Canada's ecommerce sales increased 3.0% over the previous month to $3.98 billion, or to 6.0% of total retail sales. 

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

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