June 22, 2016 / 12:37 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada April retail sales up by 0.9 pct, hit record high

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(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, June 22 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales in April rose by 0.9 percent from March to hit a record C$44.28 billion ($34.59 billion), thanks largely to higher sales at gasoline stations, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

The increase - the third in four months - matched the forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, while in volume terms, April sales were flat. The previous record was the C$44.22 billion seen in February.

Overall, sales rose in seven of 11 subsectors, representing 64 percent of total retail sales. Gas stations posted a 6.0 percent increase in sales from March, the first advance since June 2015, on higher prices.

Sales at car and parts dealers - the largest of the subsectors - slipped by 0.3 percent, falling for the second consecutive month. Excluding autos, overall sales climbed by 1.3 percent.

Purchases at furniture stores increased by 6.1 percent after a 4.0 percent drop in March. Sales in food and beverage stores, the second biggest subsector, inched up by 0.1 percent.

($1=$1.28 Canadian)

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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