Auto sales boost re­tail


Shop­pers buy­ing new cars and trucks helped boost re­tail sales in May by 1.0 per cent to $43 bil­lion in Canada, the third in­crease in four months, Sta­tis­tics Canada said Thurs­day.

The rise in re­tail sales was bet­ter than the 0.5 per cent in­crease that had been ex­pected by econ­o­mists, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters.

"While not a big up­side sur­prise, the mildly en­cour­ag­ing re­tail re­sults break a run of sour news for the Cana­dian econ­omy,’’ BMO chief economist Doug Porter wrote in a com­men­tary.

"The de­cent re­sult also plays up the fact that the con­sumer is still do­ing its job _ now the econ­omy needs some se­ri­ous help from non-re­source ex­ports.’’

Re­tail sales were up in nine of 11 sub­sec­tors, rep­re­sent­ing 92 per cent of re­tail trade.

In vol­ume terms, Sta­tis­tics Canada says sales were up 0.4 per cent af­ter re­mov­ing the ef­fects of price changes.

Sales at mo­tor ve­hi­cle and parts deal­ers rose 1.3 per cent, boosted by a 2.0 per cent in­crease at new car deal­ers.

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