Canadian retail sales marginally up in August 2012

24 October 2012 (Last Updated October 24th, 2012 18:30)

Canada's retail sales rose 0.3% to $39.1bn in August, according to the data released by Statistics Canada.

Canada’s retail sales rose 0.3% to $39.1bn in August, according to the data released by Statistics Canada.

Eliminating the effect of prices, retail sales volume, however, fell 0.3% in August.

The statistics agency said gains were reported in five of 11 subsectors, representing 53% of retail trade.

The agency noted that the largest increase in dollar terms among all subsectors was a 2.9% rise at gasoline stations.

Sales in this subsector had been relatively flat since the end of 2011.

General merchandise stores sales rose 0.6%, while the other general merchandise stores sales rose 1%.

Department store sales climbed 0.2%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Food and beverage stores sales rose 0.3%, the third increase in four months, while clothing and clothing accessories stores registered 1.1% decline in August, on monthly basis.

Supermarkets and other grocery stores led the sales growth with a 0.5%, which accounted the highest for most of the increase.

Sales in beer, wine and liquor stores declined for a third straight month, decreasing 0.4%

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales advanced 1.0% in August, more than offsetting the drop in June and July.

Retail sales rose in six provinces in August. Ontario registered the largest monthly increase, seeing a rise of 0.6% in August, after posting flat sales in July.

Sales in Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan increased 2.8% and 0.6%, while they fell 0.9% in British Columbia, which is the fifth decline in six months.