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Canadian consumer spending remained flat for the second consecutive quarter of 2014, shows data from Moneris Solutions, Canada’s largest credit and debit card processor.

It’s the first time Moneris has reported two consecutive flat quarters since issuing the reports in 2010.

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Compared to the same period last year, Q2 consumer spending decreased by 0.32%. June showed the most growth, with a modest 0.17% increase, while April and May experienced declines of 0.21 per cent and 0.89 per cent, respectively.

“Although slight, this overall drop is disappointing,” says Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris. “After a flat first quarter, which we attributed to this year’s harsh winter, we were hoping consumer spending would rebound in Q2. We believe the slow start to spring has to do with the continuation of trends seen in Q1.”

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Specialty retail experienced a 0.75% increase, while apparel decreased by 0.90%. Other retail categories that showed a decline included women’s accessories (-5.03%), florists (-4.73%) and groceries (-4.35%), while spending in home renovation stores increased by 8.42%. Similar to Q1, utilities spending remained high, with an 18.69% increase. The report also showed that Canadians favoured spending on travel and transportation with an increase of 5.39%.

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Consumer spending was highest in Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Alberta, with increases of 2.11%, 1.08 per cent and 0.72%, respectively. Ontario consumer spending was close to flat, with a 0.03% decrease.

Saskatchewan, which led spending growth in Q1, was among the three lowest-spending provinces in Q2 (-2.05%), equal to Manitoba, while Quebec experienced the smallest gains in Q2 (-2.21%).

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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