Canadian Retail Sales Rise 0.3% in July, Led by Gas Stations

(Bloomberg) -- Rising gasoline prices gave a boost to Canadian retail sales in July, bringing the sector back to growth.

Retailers saw receipts increase by 0.3 percent, after a 0.1 percent decline in June, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The gain was in line with economist expectations. Sales at gasoline stations jumped 1.9 percent, helping offset a drop in car sales that month.

The gain in July follows a relatively robust pick-up in consumer spending in the second quarter. That along with stronger business investment and exports has led to a rebound in economic activity and is fueling expectations the Bank of Canada will keep raising interest rates in coming months.
The increase in July was driven by higher prices rather than volumes, which were down 0.1 percent. Sales were up in eight of the 11 sectors tracked by Statistics Canada.

Car and auto parts dealers had an off month, with sales down 1.4 percent. Excluding the sector, retail sales were up 0.9 percent.

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