Canadian retail sales rebounded in April, rising 0.9% on higher consumer gas prices.
The value of retail sales rose to a seasonally adjusted 44.28 billion Canadian dollars ($34.56 billion dollars) in the month, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Market expectations were for a 0.8% increase, according to economists at Royal Bank of Canada.
The better-than-expected report follows a revised 0.8% decline in retail sales the previous month.
In volume terms, retail sales in April rose 0.1%, meaning higher prices had a greater effect on the overall increase. Economists look at sales volumes to gauge the level of activity in the economy.
The relatively flat print on volume means retail sales will provide only a “very modest” contribution to industry-level real gross domestic product, TD Securities economist David Tulk said in a note.
The Bank of Canada is anticipating a weak second quarter, in part because of significant disruptions caused by wildfires in northern Alberta.
“While much of this weakness promises to be transitory, the bigger uncertainty is the ability of the economy to rebound in [the third quarter] if the global backdrop remains precarious,” said Mr. Tulk, whose firm expects Canada’s GDP to decline by as much as 1.0% in the April-to-June period.
Excluding autos, the value of retail sales rose 1.3% in April.
Retail sales were up in seven of the 11 categories tracked by Statistics Canada, representing about two-thirds of total retail sales.
The biggest contributor to the overall increase was a 6% jump in sales at gasoline stations, which rose for the first time in nearly a year due largely to higher prices at the pump. Sales at furniture and home-furnishing stores rose 6.1% in April, and sales at general merchandise stores increased 1.3%.
Clothing and accessories stores offset the gains, posting a 2.7% decline in April on lower sales at clothing and shoe stores. Sales were also down 0.3% at motor vehicle and parts dealers, with lower sales at new car dealers responsible for most of the decline.
On a 12-month basis, retail sales advanced 4.6%.
Fuente: Wall Street Journal.
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