OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales fell 2.2 percent in December as unseasonably warm weather cut into seasonal purchases, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The month-on-month fall far exceeded the 0.6 percent drop predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll and was the largest such decline since April 2010. Sales in November jumped 1.7 percent from October.
Statscan reported lower sales in 10 of 11 subsectors representing 97 percent of retail trade. Volumes were down 2.3 percent.
Motor vehicles and parts dealers, a category that also includes sellers of snowmobiles, posted a 3.9 percent decrease in December. Sales in food and beverage stores fell by 1.2 percent.
“Store types typically associated with holiday shopping registered weaker sales in December,” Statscan said. Receipts at general merchandise stores dropped by 2.2 percent, while sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores fell by 3.6 percent.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao