Statistics Canada released retail sales data on Friday. Canadian retail sales plunged by 2.0% in December, missing expectations for a 0.3% decline, after a 0.4% rise in November.
That was the biggest fall since April 2010.
The drop was driven by lower sales in 9 of 11 subsectors. Clothing and clothing accessories sales fell 5.6% in December, while electronic sales decreased 9.2%.
Gasoline sales dropped by 7.4% in December.
Motor vehicles and parts sales fell 1.0% in December.
Canadian retail sales excluding automobiles dropped 2.3% in December, missing expectations for a 0.7% decrease, after a 0.6% gain in November. November's figure was revised down from a 0.7% increase.
That was the largest drop since December 2008.