Canada January retail sales post weaker-than-expected growth

FILE PHOTO: People shop inside at the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) flagship department store in Toronto January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales grew by a less-than-expected 0.3 percent in January from December, held back by weaker sales of motor vehicles and parts, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 1.1 percent jump after the 0.7 percent decline seen in December. Statscan revised December’s drop from an initial 0.8 percent.

Overall, sales increased in seven of 11 subsectors, representing 63 percent of retail trade. In volume terms, sales edged up 0.1 percent.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 1.2 percent on weaker performances by retailers in the provinces of British Columbia and Quebec. Excluding autos, retail sales rose by 0.9 percent.

General merchandise stores posted a 2.3 percent gain in sales after a decline in December. Sales at electronics and appliance stores, which had slumped 8.0 percent in December, recovered partially in January, rising by 4.0 percent.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum