January 25, 2018 / 1:49 PM / a year ago

Canada retail sales edge up in Nov on gasoline, electronics

FILE PHOTO: A woman looks at her phone while walking past a sales sign on display outside a retail store in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales rose less than expected in November as higher sales of gasoline and electronics were tempered by a decline in new car purchases, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

The 0.2 percent increase in overall sales was shy of economists’ expectations for 0.7 percent, while October was revised slightly upward to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent.

Stripping out the effect of price changes, sales volumes were up 0.3 percent in November.

Sales rose in six out of 11 sectors, accounting for 37 percent of total retail trade. Sales at gasoline stations rose 5.9 percent, up for the third time in four months, as consumers faced higher prices at the pump.

Black Friday promotions helped sales at electronics and appliance stores jump 12.9 percent, the largest gain on record. At the same time, the share of e-commerce purchases on an unadjusted basis rose to 3.5 percent of total retail sales from 2.5 percent in October, the highest proportion in 2017.

But sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 3.6 percent, erasing the previous month’s gain, as consumers bought fewer new cars. Still, car sales in Canada were robust in 2017, cracking the 2 million mark for the first time.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Frances Kerry

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