Retail sales in Canada increased by 0.6% to C$66.5bn ($48.76bn) in September 2023, according to data released by federal agency Statistics Canada.

During the month, sales rose in four of nine subsectors, driven by the increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers, which grew 1.5%.

Sales at new car dealerships and at gasoline stations and fuel vendors increased 2.4% and 3.2% respectively in September. 

Retail sales volume increased by 0.3%, but declined 0.5% in the third quarter (Q3) of the year.

Core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers, fell by 0.3% in September.

This was driven by a 1.6% decline at sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, book and miscellaneous retailers, and a 0.4% decline at food and beverage retailers.

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By GlobalData

Supermarkets and other grocery retailers posted a 0.2% sales drop and speciality food retailers recorded a 0.4% sales decrease during the month.

With growth of 0.3%, general merchandise retailers registered the highest increase in core retail sales.

Ontario recorded the highest sales among the provinces at 0.3%, driven by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, while the census metropolitan area of Toronto registered a 0.6% decline in sales.

Retail sales rose by 0.9% in Alberta during the month, led by higher sales at general merchandise retailers.

New Brunswick reported the steepest fall in retail sales at 0.2%, affected by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

In the Northwest Territories, retail sales increased 26.6% in September after declining in August 2023.

Retail e-commerce sales dropped by 0.6% to $3.8bn on a seasonally adjusted basis during the month, and represented 5.8% of total retail trade.

Retail sales rose by 0.6% in Canada in Q3.