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Canada’s Retail Sales Fell 1.4% In March

Canada’s retail sales fell 1.4% to $65.3 billion in March from a year earlier, driven largely by declines in sales at gas stations and new car dealerships.

Statistics Canada said that retail sales rose in five of nine subsectors, and that core retail sales, which exclude fuel vendors and motor vehicle dealers, rose 0.3% in March.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealerships decreased 4.4% in March, their first decline in eight months as sales at new car dealers fell 4.8%.

Sales at gas stations and fuel vendors throughout Canada decreased 3.9% in March.

Partially offsetting those declines were sales at building material dealers, which rose 1.6%, and sales at sporting goods and miscellaneous retailers, which also gained 1.6% during the month.

In volume terms, Statistics Canada said retail sales fell 1% in March. Preliminary estimates for April showed a gain of 0.2% for that month, though the figure will be revised.