UPDATE 1-Canadian retail sales unexpectedly drop 0.1 pct in April

Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:42am EDT
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(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, June 19 (Reuters) - Canada's retail sales unexpectedly dropped by 0.1 percent in April after two months of gains, pulled down by lower spending at food and electronics stores, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Market operators had forecast a 0.7 percent increase from March. Statscan revised March's month-on-month gain to 0.9 percent from the previous 0.7 percent increase.

Overall, sales fell in four of the 11 subsectors in April, accounting for 43 percent of retail trade. In volume terms, retail sales dropped by 0.2 percent.

Sales at food and beverage stores fell by 1.3 percent, the third decrease in four months. Store closures and the lack of new product releases contributed to an 8.8 percent sales drop at electronics and appliance stores.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers posted a 1.3 percent sales gain, the third consecutive monthly increase. Sales at gasoline stations declined 0.5 percent on lower pump prices, the ninth decline in 10 months. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao)