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Canada. Retail sales up

Retail sales totalled $118.5 billion in the second quarter, up 3.8% over the second quarter of 2010. Higher sales were reported in 5 of 10 major commodity groups, accounting for 65% of retail sales.

The strongest year-over-year gain occurred in sales of automotive fuels, oils and additives, up 24.4% in the second quarter from the same quarter of 2010 to $13.5 billion. According to the Consumer Price Index, the price of gasoline increased 28.1% over the same period.

The value of sales of motor vehicles, parts and services amounted to $26.4 billion in the second quarter, up 6.5% from the same quarter of 2010. The sales of new motor vehicles rose 8.1%, largely reflecting a 10.2% increase in the value of sales of new trucks (which include minivans, sport-utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans and buses). The value of sales of used motor vehicles was up 2.3% in the second quarter from the same quarter in 2010, while sales of automotive parts and accessories rose 7.7%.

Sales of food and beverages increased 2.1%. General merchandise stores accounted for most of the growth.

Clothing, footwear and accessories sales were up 3.4% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Sales of footwear (+8.5%) led the increase.

Hardware, lawn and garden products posted the largest sales decrease in the second quarter, down 3.0% from the second quarter of 2010. Lower sales of hardware and home renovation products (-5.1%) accounted for most of the decline.

Health and personal care product sales declined 1.2% in the second quarter over the same quarter of 2010. Prescription drugs, which represent over half of the sales of this commodity group, declined 0.4%. Consumer prices for prescription drugs decreased 3.9% between the second quarters of 2010 and 2011. This deflation reflects changing regulations for generic prescription drugs enacted in a number of provinces and the expiry of some drug patents.


© Statistics Canada -

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