Canadian retail sales rise in March

Retail March 2After removing the effects of price changes, particularly lower gasoline prices, Statistics Canada reports Canadian retail sales in volume terms rose 0.7 percent in March. In total, retail sales were at $39.5 billion for the month.

Higher sales were reported in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 47 percent of total retail sales.

Furniture and home furnishings stores posted a 0.3 percent increase in sales, reflecting stronger sales at furniture stores (+1.2 percent). Home furnishings stores (-1.0 percent) declined for a fourth month in a row.

Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers edged up 0.1 percent. Sales in this subsector have been relatively flat since the middle of 2012.

Retail sales rose in six provinces in March. Ontario (+0.4 percent) reported the largest increase in dollar terms and a third consecutive monthly sales gain.

The 0.9 percent rise in sales in British Columbia was led by gains at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Receipts in Quebec (+0.4 percent) and New Brunswick (+1.2 percent) both increased for a third straight month.

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