Business in Vancouver

BC consumer spending up more than 7 per cent over the past year

The province saw one of Canada’s biggest year-over-year increases in spending

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 1:49am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 9:44am

By Emma Crawford Hampel

British Columbians increased spent 7.1 per cent more on consumer goods year-over-year in 2016’s third quarter, according to Canadian firm Moneris’ latest metrics report, which tracks purchases by debit and credit cards.

This is more than two percentage points higher than the national average of 4.77 per cent. BC was second only to PEI, where spending grew 7.8% per cent All provinces saw increases in consumer spending except Alberta, which is dealing with an economic slump related to the oil price shock and the wildfires in Fort McMurray in May.

Nationwide, Q3 was the eighth consecutive quarter of spending increases across nearly all major consumer categories.

Moneris president and CEO Angela Brown said not only is spending increasing across the country, but the way consumers are spending is changing. Credit card payments were up 6.58 per cent and represented 65 per cent of all transactions, while debit card spending increased 1.58 per cent and made up 35 per cent of all transactions.

“Over the last few quarters, we have seen a trend toward a larger share of credit card versus debit card payments, which could be driven by a combination of factors, including the shift to online shopping, popularity of contactless payments and Canadians’ preference for loyalty and rewards programs,” she said.

The biggest leap in spending nationwide was in fast food, which was up 12.2 per cent. This was followed by furniture and home furnishings, up 8.2 per cent, and sports apparel, up 7.8 per cent.