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Canada. Retail Sales rise

Retail sales in current dollars rose...

Retail sales in current dollars rose 1.0% in September to $34.9 billion, the seventh increase in nine months.

The increases were widespread with six of eight sectors showing gains. In volume terms, retail sales increased 1.2% in September.

Retail sales have been rising since the beginning of 2009, following a sharp decline at the end of 2008. On a year-over-year basis, sales in September were 3.3% lower than in September 2008.

All components of the automotive sector (+1.0%) posted higher sales in September. The largest increase in the sector was a 2.0% gain at used and recreational motor vehicles and parts dealers, following two months of flat sales. Sales at new car dealers (+0.6%) rose for a fifth consecutive month, while gasoline stations registered a 1.1% increase.

Excluding the automotive sector, retail sales rose 1.1% in September, the largest gain since January 2009. The main contributor to this increase was the food and beverage stores sector, where sales rose 1.3%. Leading the way were supermarkets (+1.5%), following flat sales in August.

The largest increase was at general merchandise stores, where sales rose 1.9%. Sales at this store type had been stable for almost a year, changing by less than 0.5% each month since November 2008.

After four months of flat sales, miscellaneous retailers saw their sales rise 1.7%. This growth was led by sales at sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores (+1.9%), the largest increase at these store types since March 2008.

Sales in the furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores sector increased 1.2%, its largest increase since July 2008. Furniture stores led the sector with a 3.2% advance. This was the largest increase for this store type since January 2008, when sales rose 3.6% following a one percentage point drop in the Goods and Services Tax.

Sales at building and outdoor home supplies stores (-0.2%) and clothing and accessories stores (-0.1%) both edged down in September. These two sectors have had generally flat sales since a partial recovery at the beginning of 2009.

Sales up in eight provinces

Retail sales rose in eight provinces in September. Quebec (+2.2%) was the largest contributor to the increase with a fourth rise in the last five months.

Sales rose in all of the Atlantic provinces, led by Prince Edward Island (+4.1%). The majority of these gains came from higher sales at new car dealers.

British Columbia continued its upward trend of the last six months, increasing 1.8% in September.

The two provinces where retail sales did not increase were Saskatchewan and Alberta. Sales fell 0.9% in Saskatchewan in September, partially offsetting the increase in August. In Alberta sales were flat, following two months of declines.
© Statistics Canada -

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