Canadian retail sales rose 0.7% in June to C$37.8B, their third straight monthly increase, led by higher sales, lower prices at new-car dealers; gains reported in six of 11 subsectors

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Aug 23, 2011 – Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , August 23, 2011 () – Retail sales rose 0.7% to $37.8 billion in June, a third consecutive monthly increase. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales decreased 0.1%.

Higher sales and lower prices at new car dealers accounted for most of the 1.6% increase in volume terms.

Gains were reported in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 69% of total retail sales.

The largest increase in sales among all subsectors was registered by motor vehicle and parts dealers (+3.4%). New car dealers led the gain with growth in sales of 3.3%, the third increase in four months. Sales at used car dealers rose 10.4% in June, more than offsetting the declines in the three previous months. Gains were also reported at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.1%) and the "other motor vehicle dealers" (+1.1%) category.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers registered a second consecutive increase, rising 2.1%. Stronger sales of hardware and home renovation products continued in June.

Sales at food and beverage stores rose 0.3%, after three months of declines. Higher sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (+0.4%) accounted for most of the gain.

After four consecutive monthly increases, receipts at gasoline stations fell 1.3%. This was the second decline in 12 months.

Electronics and appliance store sales declined 3.0% in June. Sales in this subsector have been relatively flat since the third quarter of 2010.

Miscellaneous store retailers reported a 2.4% decline in sales, offsetting gains made in April and May. Stores in this subsector include office supplies and stationery stores, gift stores and pet supplies stores.

Sales up in most provinces

Retail sales rose in seven provinces in June. Sales in Quebec rose 1.5%, accounting for almost half of the national sales gain. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were a significant contributor to the increase.

Ontario retailers registered sales gains of 0.5%, a third consecutive monthly gain. Sales in this province have been on an upward trend since early 2009.

Sales in Saskatchewan rose 2.4%, a sixth month of uninterrupted growth.

The largest decline in dollar terms occurred in Alberta (-0.3%), following two months of gains.

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