Canadian retail sales unexpectedly drop 0.1 per cent in April

Sales dragged down by lower spending at food, electronics stores

OTTAWA (Reuters) — Canada's retail sales unexpectedly dropped by 0.1 per cent in April after two months of gains, pulled down by lower spending at food and electronics stores, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Market operators had forecast a 0.7 per cent increase from March. Statscan revised March's month-on-month gain to 0.9 per cent from the previous 0.7 per cent increase.

Overall, sales fell in four of the 11 subsectors in April, accounting for 43 per cent of retail trade. In volume terms, retail sales dropped by 0.2 per cent.

Sales at food and beverage stores fell by 1.3 per cent, the third decrease in four months. Store closures and the lack of new product releases contributed to an 8.8 per cent sales drop at electronics and appliance stores.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers posted a 1.3 per cent sales gain, the third consecutive monthly increase. Sales at gasoline stations declined 0.5 per cent on lower pump prices, the ninth decline in 10 months.

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