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Canadian retail sales edged up by a less-than-expected 0.1 percent in September from August, after July's 0.3-percent boost, but nonetheless hit another record, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Retail sales were led by a 0.6-percent increase in the auto sector, excluding them sales were flat. The median forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts was for a 0.5-percent increase in the overall number and also in sales excluding autos. Twenty-three of 24 forecasters expected growth of 0.3 percent or more.
The monthly increase was the third straight, and took sales to a record $39.14 million from $39.08 million in August. In volume terms, which is important in calculating real growth in gross domestic product, there was no measurable increase. All figures are seasonally adjusted.
Year-on-year, retail sales were 1.8-percent higher in dollar terms and 1.3 percent in volume.
The miscellaneous category, which includes used merchandise, office supplies and pet supplies, showed the biggest percentage increase, at 2.5 percent. Clothing rose after three consecutive falls, food was up for the fourth time in five months, and electronics and appliances also increased. General merchandise stores and gasoline stations were down.