Retail sales up by 0.6 per cent in September, StatsCan says

Retail sales increased 0.6 per cent to $66.5 billion in September, Statistics Canada announced Friday, a better result than the agency expected.

Statistics Canada also says its early estimates suggest retail sales increased 0.8 per cent in October, though it cautioned the estimates would be revised.

Four of the nine subsectors that Statistics Canada tracks noted sales were up, including a 1.5 per cent increase at motor vehicle parts dealers that was led by a 2.4 per cent gain at new car dealers. Used car dealers dropped by two per cent.

Shelly Kaushik, an economist at Bank of Montreal, wrote in a note that while retail sales were firmer than expected in September, consumers will likely continue to be cautious in their retail spending while interest rates are up and with mortgage resets still coming.

Core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations, fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers, were down 0.3 per cent in September.

Food and beverage retailer sales fell 0.4 per cent, and sales at sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument, book and miscellaneous retailers dropped 1.6 per cent.

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