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Car and auto part sales led retail sales increase in January: StatsCan


March 22, 2012
By The Canadian Press

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Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.5 percent to $38.9 billion in January, with motor vehicle and parts dealers leading the growth.

It was the fifth sales increase in six months, although with automotive sales excluded, sales fell 0.5 percent.

Gains were reported in five of 11 subsectors, representing 52 percent of total retail sales.

Retail sales rose in six provinces, with Ontario recording the highest gain of 1.5 percent.

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Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 3.7 percent, with new car sales up 4.6 percent, the highest monthly growth rate in three years.

Sales also rose at general merchandise stores, department stores, clothing and clothing accessory outlets and shoe stores.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers saw sales slip 5.2 percent in dollar terms, offsetting a four percent rise in December.

Sales were also down at food and beverage stores, electronics and appliance dealers, and gas stations.