Major retail gains helping Canadian economy turn around

WATCH: While the markets and the dollar pulled back a bit today, tthe Loonie had just finished a six- day run that brought it close to the 82-cent mark. And as Kylie Stanton reports, another key indicator — at the cash register — shows some healthy activity.

OTTAWA — Retail sales in Canada posted a gain of 1.7 per cent in February following two consecutive monthly declines.

Statistics Canada says retail sales climbed to $42.2 billion as all 11 retail subsectors posted gains.

Economists had expected a gain of 0.5 per cent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters.

General merchandise stores helped lead the way as sales climbed 5.6 per cent for the month.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers gained 0.9 per cent, while sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores increased 8.4 per cent. Food and beverage stores added 0.6 per cent.

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Retail sales were up in seven provinces, led by British Columbia at 11.8 per cent, followed by Ontario and Quebec. Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia slipped lower.