Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Car sales slow down

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NEW-vehicle buyers in Manitoba tapped on the brakes in November, new seasonally unadjusted data from Statistics Canada shows.

The agency said Thursday sales of new cars and trucks for the month fell by 14.1 per cent to 3,788 units from 4,409 in October. However, it was still a slight improvement from a year earlier, when 3,708 new vehicles were sold.

November's purchases pushed sales for the first 11 months of 2012 to 48,396 units -- an 8.3 per cent improvement from 2011's 44,687.

Toronto-based DesRosiers Automotive Consultants said earlier this month Manitoba had a shot at achieving the previously unattainable milestone of 50,000 unit sales in 2012. According to Statistics Canada's numbers, that means 1,601 units needed to be sold in December. In December 2011, 3,859 units were purchased.

Nationally, sales of new cars and trucks fell by 7.2 per cent from October to November -- 128,849 versus 138,892 -- but were up 6.8 per cent year to date -- 1.6 million versus 1.5 million.

 

Christmas shopping soars

TORONTO -- Canadians went online to do their Christmas shopping this year more than ever before, according to a new report.

MasterCard Advisors says Canadian consumers spent $2.8 billion shopping online in December, representing about 6.6 per cent of the month's total retail sales.

December's online sales were up 26 per cent over the previous year, which didn't surprise industry watchers.

The report notes online shopping sales in Canada have grown by at least 20 per cent for 15 consecutive months now.

When comparing online sales year-over-year, there are 43 months of consecutive growth.

"We kind of continue to be amazed by the growth rates that we see in online, it just doesn't appear to be a sales channel that's slowing down a lot," said Mike Berry, senior managing consultant for Mastercard Advisors.

 

File taxes online: CRA

OTTAWA -- The Canada Revenue Agency wants more people to file their personal income tax returns online.

The agency has discontinued its free Telefile service that allowed people with basic returns to file by entering their tax information using the telephone.

The change is expected to affect about 300,000 people across the country and require fewer tax information packages to be mailed out.

Canada Revenue has also stopped mailing people who use the online service Netfile an individual access code. It wants them to use their social insurance numbers and birth dates instead when filing their tax returns.

 

-- staff / from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2013 B6

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