Canadian consumer spending gains momentum in the first quarter of 2015

April 28, 2015

Spending on retail, restaurants and home improvement drives Q1 increase of 5.78 per cent. 

TORONTO, ON – April 28, 2015 – Canadian consumer spending rose nearly six per cent in the first quarter of 2015 on a year-over-year basis, according to the MonerisMetrics Quarterly Report released by Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”), one of North America’s largest processors of debit and credit payments.

This marks the second consecutive quarter in which consumer spending has increased year-over-year. The end of 2014 saw a 3.84 per cent increase in spending, breaking an unprecedented nine-month flat streak.

For Canadian businesses, it was a great start to the year. Spending remained strong after the holiday season, with notable increases in the retail and restaurant categories. Spending in these categories suggests that consumers feel confident enough to continue to spend on non-essentials.

Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris

According to Moneris, spending across Canada rose by 5.78 per cent overall, with increases of 5.10 per cent in January, 5.51 per cent in February and 6.70 per cent in March, compared to the same months in 2014. Among Canadian provinces, British Columbia led the way with an 8.93 per cent increase, with Nova Scotia posting the smallest increase, a modest 0.40 per cent gain. The price of oil has fallen significantly over the past 12 months — a decline coinciding with Alberta’s lower-than-average (3.92 per cent) growth in the first quarter of the year.

Credit card spending increased by 6.98 per cent over the quarter, holding a 62.73 per cent share of purchases made. Debit sales rose 3.77 per cent, with a 37.27 per cent share. This represents a slight increase in the share of debit card sales compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

Strong start to the year

  • Within the restaurant category, fast food restaurants posted the highest growth (10.90 per cent) followed closely by bars and pubs (7.84 per cent).
  • Spending in the household category posted a year-over-year increase of 7.23 percent.
    • Sales at drapery, window covering and upholstery stores grew by 11.33 per cent.
    • Sales at glass, paint and wallpaper stores grew by 12.86 per cent.
  • The entertainment category posted the lowest growth (0.82 per cent) including categories such as tourist attractions, movie theatres and recreation services.

Impressive gains for retail

Strong consumer confidence benefitted retailers as a whole and underscored the robustness of retailing in Canada. Stores specializing in shoes and women’s accessories were big winners, with increases of 9.32 per cent and 7.27 per cent respectively. Pet stores also posted 7.04 per cent growth.

In the apparel category, women’s clothing outperformed all others, registering a 6.14 per cent increase in volume. Men’s clothing and family clothing experienced gains of 3.45 per cent and 4.25 per cent respectively.

Note to editors

Please see infographic for highlights, including top categories and spending by province.

About MonerisMetrics

MonerisMetrics provides information on consumer spending activity in Canada across a range of categories by analyzing credit and debit card transaction data. The percentages cited are derived from actual sales volumes—the dollar values of credit and debit card transactions being processed by Moneris merchants—compared with sales volumes from the prior year.

About Moneris Solutions

As one of North America's largest providers of payment processing solutions, Moneris Solutions Corporation (“Moneris”) offers credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants in virtually every industry segment and processes more than three billion transactions, annually. Moneris offers electronic loyalty and stored-value gift card programs. With more than 350,000 merchant locations, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed to improve business efficiency and manage payments. For more information please visit

For more information: 

Justin Häne 

No Previous Articles

Next Article
Moneris introduces ‘Verify’ to help fight $1.7B in Canadian retail fraud
Moneris introduces ‘Verify’ to help fight $1.7B in Canadian retail fraud

Moneris Verify powered by The Retail Equation has the potential to limit millions of dollars’ worth of retu...