Canadian retail sales increased by 0.7% to $42bn in May, according to Statistics Canada.

During the month, overall gains were reported in seven of eleven subsectors, representing 56% of total retail sales. In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.4%.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers recorded the largest growth, up by 2.5% May, accounting for the largest gain among all subsectors. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 3.5%.

Sales at furniture stores both rose by 4.2% and 2.8% respectively, for the fourth time in five months.

Food and beverage store sales decreased 1.6% mainly reflecting lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores, while sales at health and personal care stores declined for the first time in four months, down by 1.2%.

Following four consecutive monthly gains, sales at electronics and appliance stores declined 1.7%.

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Geographically, sales were up in nine provinces in May. Higher sales in Ontario, Quebec and, to a lesser extent, New Brunswick, accounted for most of theincrease.

In Ontario, sales advanced by 0.7% for the fourth time in five months.

In contrast, retail sales in British Columbia edged down 0.1% as a result of lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores.