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Canadian consumer spending rises in Q4 2014

Staff writer |
Canadian consumer spending rose by 3.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in the fourth quarter of 2014 following three consecutive quarters of stagnant growth.

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This is according to the Quarterly Spending Report released by Moneris Solutions Corporation.

According to Moneris, spending across Canada rose by 3.5 per cent in October, 6.1 per cent in November and 4.0 per cent in December. Among the provinces, spending rises were strongest in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, which posted gains of 6.8 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively.

Ontario and British Columbia followed closely behind, with gains of 4.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively. Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan posted growth of 1.1 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Credit card spending accounted for 63.3 per cent of total spending processed by Moneris, with debit cards making up 36.7 per cent. Overall spending using credit cards and debit cards increased as well (+5.0 per cent and +1.8 per cent respectively).

Coinciding with the recent drop in gas prices, Moneris reported a 6 percent decline in the cost per transaction of gas over the quarter. The most marked decline was seen in December, with an overall decrease of 15 per cent in cost per transaction.

Canadians are spending significantly more on transportation compared to the same period last year. Overall spending on transportation rose 11.4 per cent in Q4 with the largest increase occurring in November (+13.5 per cent). In particular, taxicabs and airlines experienced growth increases of 9.8 per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively, likely due to heightened activity during the holiday season.

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