* Retail sales +0.6 pct; excluding autos +0.4 pct
* Forecast +0.2 pct overall; +0.3 pct ex-autos
* Weather, new products had greater effect than Black Friday
* Auto sales, electronics lead advance
* Fourth increase in retail sales in five months
OTTAWA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Cold weather and the release of new electronic products helped boost Canadian retail sales by a greater-than-expected 0.6 percent in November, more than erasing a 0.1 percent dip in October, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected a seasonally adjusted gain of only 0.2 percent overall and 0.3 percent excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers. The latter category gained 0.4 percent.
Sales in volume terms were even greater, 0.8 percent, signaling lower prices.
“Weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday,” the federal agency said.
Canadian retailers have only just begun imitating their U.S. counterparts in offering sales on Black Friday - the day after U.S. Thanksgiving Day - to discourage customers from crossing the border for better deals.
Early snowfalls boosted seasonal items in the “other motor vehicle dealers” category and in parts and tire stores. It also advanced the purchase of winter clothing.
Electronic and appliance stores gained 6.4 percent, after a 3.0 percent advance in October, on the strength of new product releases.