(Source: Financial Post)

Canadian retail sales rose much more than expected in May after a surprise drop the previous month, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

Sales increased 1.2 per cent during the month to $34 billion, with gains in seven of eight sectors, led by a 2.4 per cent increase in automotive products, the federal agency said.

“Retail sales have been generally rising since the beginning of 2009,” it said.

Most economists has expected sales to rise by just 0.5 per cent in May after a 0.6 per cent decline in April.

“This sturdy report marks a nice reversal from April’s sour note. It also drums home the point that Canadian consumers are not nearly as stressed as their U.S. counterparts, a point made amply clear by recent home sales data,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Retail sales by sector (% change May from April):

Automotive +2.4
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores +0.5
Building and outdoor home supplies stores +1.0
Food and beverage stores +0.7
Pharmacies and personal care stores +1.5
Clothing and accessories stores 0.0
General merchandise stores +0.4
Miscellaneous retailers +0.8

Retail sales by province (% change May from April):

Newfoundland and Labrador +1.0
Prince Edward Island -0.7
Nova Scotia +0.5
New Brunswick +2.5
Quebec +1.2
Ontario +1.5
Manitoba +1.1
Saskatchewan +1.7
Alberta +0.5
British Columbia +0.8

(Statistics Source: Statistics Canada)

Read the full article “Retail sales rise more than expected in May” from the Vancouver Sun (July 22, 2009).

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