July 20, 2018 / 12:41 PM / 4 months ago

Canada May retail sales jump two percent, pushed up by autos, gas

FILE PHOTO: The Aritzia store where Meghan Markle shopped according to local media is pictured in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian retail trade in May jumped by 2.0 percent, its biggest increase in seven months, pushed up by sales at auto dealers and gasoline stations, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Economists in a Reuters poll had predicted a 1.1 percent increase from April. The advance was the biggest since the 3.3 jump percent recorded in October 2017.

Sales at motor vehicles and parts dealers rose by 3.7 percent after a 3.8 percent decline in April, when many parts of the country were hit by experienced cooler than usual weather and freezing rain.

Sales at gasoline stations increased by 4.3 percent, partially reflecting higher prices at the pump. General merchandise stores posted a 3.2 percent gain.

Sales rose in eight of 11 subsectors, representing 70 percent of retail trade. Stripping out the effects of prices changes, sales volume increased by 2.0 percent.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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