OTTAWA, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales unexpectedly fell in September, dragged down by lower gasoline prices and a decrease in sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Sales were down 0.5 percent, short of economists’ expectations for a gain of 0.2 percent. Excluding the effects of price changes, sales volumes edged up 0.1 percent.
Gasoline station sales tumbled 3.7 percent, falling to their lowest since January as consumers paid lower prices at the pump.
Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers dipped 0.5 percent, ending seven consecutive months of gains as Canadians bought fewer new cars.
Other categories with weaker sales included furniture stores and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores. Overall, sales were down in 8 out of 11 sectors, accounting for 60 percent of retail trade.
Sales were off in six of the country’s 10 provinces, including oil-sensitive Alberta, which saw a drop of 1.1 percent with decreases across most store types.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe