October 20, 2017 / 12:44 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada retail sales unexpectedly decline in August

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales unexpectedly declined in August as consumers spent less at supermarkets and home renovation stores, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

Sales fell 0.3 percent, against forecasts for a 0.5 percent increase. Sales declined in 8 of 11 sectors, accounting for 57 percent of retail trade. Volumes declined 0.7 percent, the biggest decrease since March 2016.

Sales at food and beverage stores tumbled 2.5 percent following four consecutive months of gains due to lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores.

Stores that are typically linked to home purchases and renovations also saw sales decline as Canadians spent less on building materials and furniture.

The overall decline in retail sales was tempered by a 3.1 percent increase in sales at gasoline stations, mostly due to higher prices at the pump.

Vehicle and parts sales rose 0.7 percent, driven by higher sales at new car dealers. Auto sales have been solid in Canada this year, putting 2017 on track to hit a record.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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