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Grocery store, alcohol sales down in April as prices rose: Statistics Canada

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Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.9 per cent to $60.7 billion in April, boosted by gains at general merchandise stores.

The agency also says its early estimate for retail sales in May suggests a gain of 1.6 per cent for the month, but cautioned the figure would be revised.

Retail sales in April were up in six of the 11 subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada, representing 43.3 per cent of retail trade.

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Sales at general merchandise stores gained 4.2 per cent, while sales at miscellaneous store retailers, which includes pet stores, cannabis stores, office supplies and stationery stores and pool retailers, rose 11.3 per cent.

Beer, wine and liquor sales were meanwhile down 1.6 per cent in April and grocery store sales dropped 0.3 per cent. Statistics Canada suggested in its release that rising costs tied to inflation could be changing consumer spending patterns.

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Core retail sales — which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers — rose 1.0 per cent.

— with files from Global News’ Craig Lord

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