Retail Sales Up in August
CBJ — Canadian retail sales rose more than expected in August, climbing for the fourth month in a row thanks to an increase in auto sales.
Statistics Canada reports that retail sales rose by 0.5%, topping economists’ expectations for a gain of 0.1%. But excluding the autos and parts sector, sales were flat. In volume terms, total retail sales rose 0.7%.
Sales at new car dealers increased 1.7% as more new trucks were sold, particularly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Used car purchases jumped by 5.5%. Overall sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 2%.
Other sectors saw sales improve, including furniture and food and beverage stores. That was offset by a 0.6% decrease at gasoline stations, where sales fell for the second month in a row.
Canada was in a mild recession in the first half of the year but growth is expected to have picked back up in the second half. On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada kept its key overnight rate at 0.5%.