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Canadian retail sales in October jumped by an unexpectedly high 1.0 percent from September, pushed up by stronger sales of motor vehicles and gasoline, Statistics Canada data indicated on Wednesday.
The advance -- the third consecutive monthly gain -- is more evidence the Canadian economy was still relatively strong heading into the final quarter. Market operators had predicted a 0.5 percent increase.
Gains were reported in seven of the 11 sectors, representing 76 percent of retail sales. Sales volume rose 0.6 percent.
Motor vehicles and parts dealers reported sales increased by 2.0 percent from September, largely thanks to a 2.4 percent rise in sales at new-car dealers. Higher prices helped push gasoline sales up by 1.8 percent.
Stripping out sales by motor vehicles and parts dealers, retail sales rose by 0.7 percent. Overall retail sales were 4.4 percent higher than in October 2010.