Canada’s Robust 2016 Restaurant Sales Growth Expected To Moderate In 2017

In spite of the negative impacts of falling oil prices on Canada’s energy-producing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadian restaurateurs have had “a banner year,” according to Restaurants Canada Senior Economist Chris Elliott. According to Statistics Canada, commercial foodservice sales rose 6.7% during the first nine months of 2016, “thanks to gifts like an extra day in February, good weather for most of the year, more tourists due to a weak Canadian dollar, and a surge in consumer demand in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.” RC expects the industry as whole, including noncommercial segments to post growth of 5.3% nominal and 2.5% real in 2016.

But Elliott sees a slowdown in the growth rate in 2017. Consumer spending is expected to moderate as households are highly leveraged and disposable income growth is expected to slow. And the Leap Year bonus and the surge in tourism are not repeatable.

RC forecasts industry growth will slow to 4% nominal and 1.5% real next year. But if it means anything, RC originally forecast similar growth for 2016.

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