Canadian retail sales rose at the fastest pace in eight months in January, with the rebound led by automobiles and general merchandise stores.
Sales increased 1.3 percent to C$40.7 billion ($36.2 billion), following December’s revised 1.9 percent drop, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 0.7 percent increase, based on the median of 20 projections.
Canadian consumers remain the main source of growth in the world’s 11th largest economy at a time when shaky global demand has delayed what the Bank of Canada has said is a needed pickup in business investment and exports. Household spending has been supported by low interest rates and unemployment.
Motor vehicle and parts sales rose 2.2 percent to C$9.47 billion in January, a 7.7 percent increase over the prior 12 months. Purchases excluding the motor vehicle and parts category rose 1 percent in January, faster than the 0.7 percent increase economists had forecast.
Sales advanced in seven of 11 categories marking 83 percent of total sales, including a 2.2 percent increase at general merchandise stores to C$5.10 billion.
The volume of sales rose 1.4 percent. That measure excludes the effects of price changes and more closely reflects the industry’s contribution to economic growth.
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