OTTAWA (Reuters) — Strong car sales helped push Canadian retail trade up by 0.7 per cent in May to $41.98 billion, eclipsing April's record sales, Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday.
Sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers, which account for just under one quarter of total retail sales, were up 2.5 per cent. Excluding this sector, retail sales rose 0.1 per cent, and excluding the auto sector and gasoline, retail sales were down 0.3 per cent. The figures are adjusted for seasonal factors.
Statistics Canada's New Motor Vehicle Sales Survey had reported a record 197,740 units sold in May.
The median forecasts in a Reuters survey of analysts were for a 0.6 per cent rise in overall retail sales and a 0.3 per cent gain excluding autos and parts.
On Friday, Statistics Canada had reported a 2.2 per cent gain in wholesale trade, marked by a 9.8 per cent jump in motor vehicles and parts.
In volume terms, relevant for calculating real moves in gross domestic product, retail sales rose by 0.4 per cent.
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