* Retail sales up by 0.7 pct; markets expected 0.2 pct rise
* Sales at motor vehicle dealers, gas stations fuel rise
OTTAWA, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Canada retail sales in October jumped by 0.7 percent from September to a record C$39.45 billion ($39.85 billion), pushed up by higher sales at motor vehicle dealers and gas stations, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected a month-over-month increase of 0.2 percent. Retail sales have now risen for four months in a row and the latest data suggest that October’s GDP, due out on Friday, might not be as unimpressive as market operators had once feared.
Gains were reported in eight of 11 subsectors, representing 92 percent of retail trade. In volume terms, sales grew by 0.3 percent.
Sales at motor vehicles and parts dealers grew by 1.6 percent on the back of a 1.6 percent increase in sales by new car dealers, who posted a fifth consecutive monthly gain. Sales at gasoline stations also advanced by 1.6 percent.
Food and beverage store sales were up by 0.5 percent. Furniture and home furnishings store sales fell by 2.0 percent while electronics and appliance stores recorded a decline of 1.6 percent.