Canadian retail sales in Q2 up 2.8% year-over-year to C$126.3B, largest yearly gain since Q1 2012, with higher sales in seven of 10 major commodity groups: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , October 11, 2013 (press release) – Retail sales rose 2.8% from the second quarter of 2012 to $126.3 billion in the second quarter. This was the largest year-over-year gain since the first quarter of 2012. Higher sales were reported in 7 of 10 major commodity groups.

Sales of motor vehicles, parts and services were the largest contributor to the increase, rising 8.8%. Sales of new trucks, vans, minivans and sport utility vehicles (+18.8%) registered their largest gain in three years. The New Motor Vehicles Sales Survey reported a 9.0% increase in the volume of trucks sold in the second quarter. Sales were also up for used vehicles (+5.6%) and automotive parts and accessories (+4.5%).

Receipts of food and beverages rose 1.5%. Most of the increase came from higher food sales (+2.2%), largely because of a price-induced 5.9% rise for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Health and personal care products sales increased 2.9%, the largest gain since the fourth quarter of 2011. The growth in the second quarter for prescription drugs (+2.4%) more than offset the decline over the previous four quarters.

Sales of automotive fuels, oils and additives fell 1.0%, as consumer prices for gasoline decreased 1.1% over the same period.

Sporting and leisure goods were down 2.9%. A 14.1% decrease in the sales of toys, games and hobby supplies accounted for most of the decline. Sales of this commodity tend to be affected by the timing of new product releases.

Furniture, home furnishings and electronics sales fell 0.4%, with the decline in home electronics, computers and cameras (-4.0%) offsetting increases in household appliances (+6.3%) and indoor furniture (+2.1%).

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