Pattie Lovett-Reid: Consumer shopping trends as holiday season approaches
Canada’s economy enjoyed a boost from abroad in the third quarter as spending from international visitors surged over the summer months, according to a report by payment processor Moneris.
Across Canada, credit- and debit-card spending increased 5.05 per cent over last year, which marks the highest quarterly year-over-year growth of 2017.
Spending by international visitors jumped 12.16 per cent in the third quarter, likely fuelled by Canada 150 celebrations, according to Moneris’ news release. U.S. visitors were the largest contributors in absolute terms, with Americans spending 10.86 per cent more than last year, while visitors from China spent 19.85 per cent more.
The tourism industry boomed as a result of the international influx. Hotels saw a 7.8 per cent increase in year-over-year spending and restaurants recorded a 7.73 per cent increase.
While travel-related expenses provided a big lift to the economy in the third quarter, growth was spread across sectors.
“Visitors to our country, as well as Canadians, clearly enjoyed the summer months to their fullest. But based on the data, Canadians are also looking ahead and making practical, longer-term investments,” said Angela Brown, president and CEO of Moneris.
The home-improvement category saw overall growth of 6.68 per cent over last year, while vehicle purchases were up 6.36 per cent.
“All year we’ve seen a strong and steady climb in spending, and this quarter continues the trend, putting Canada’s economy in a good position moving into the holiday season,” Brown said.
“This growth is in line with the Bank of Canada’s expectations reflected in its increase of the overnight rate target to one per cent in September. We expect to see an encouraging end to 2017,” she said.
The numbers show growth moderating throughout the quarter, matching the trend predicted by many economics. July was the strongest month of the quarter, with spending up 5.96 per cent. August saw 5.73 per cent growth, while September recorded the lowest growth at 3.95 per cent.