OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales rose by 0.2 percent in May from April to hit a record C$44.28 billion ($33.80 billion), largely because of increases for food, drink and gasoline, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The gain, the fourth in five months, contrasted with a forecast of no growth in a Reuters poll, while in volume terms, May sales edged up 0.1 percent. The previous record was the revised C$44.21 billion reported for April.
Overall, sales rose in six of 11 subsectors, representing 51 percent of the total. Food and beverage stores posted a 2.1 percent increase, and gas stations, a 2.3 percent gain.
Sales at car and parts dealers, the largest of the subsectors, slipped by 2.0 percent, falling for the third consecutive month.
Sales dropped by 0.4 percent in Alberta on declines at new car dealers, the main retail store type affected by a major wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn