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Retail sales up 0.6% in July, below economists’ expectations

People wear face masks as they shop in a department store in Montreal, Sunday, August 2, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.
People wear face masks as they shop in a department store in Montreal, Sunday, August 2, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes/CP

Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.6 per cent in July to $52.9 billion, helped by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations. Economists had expected an increase of 1.0 per cent for the month, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

RETAIL SALES

Statistics Canada says sales were up in six of 11 subsectors in July with the motor vehicle and parts dealers subsector contributing the most to the increase with a 3.3 per cent increase.

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Sales at gasoline stations rose 6.1 per cent.

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However, the agency said core retail sales, which exclude those two subsectors, fell 1.2 per cent. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers fell 11.6 per cent, while sales at food and beverage stores dropped 2.1 per cent.

Retail sales in volume terms were up 0.4 per cent in July.