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Canada’s Retail Sales Fell 0.3% In January

Retail sales across Canada declined 0.3% to $67 billion in January, led by a decrease in purchases of motor vehicles.

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that retail sales fell in three of nine categories during January, with sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declining the most at 2.4%.

It was the first decline in motor vehicle sales throughout Canada in five months. Sales of new vehicles fell 3% while used car dealers saw their sales gain 4.5%.

Despite the decrease in retail sales overall, Statistics Canada noted that core retail sales moved higher in January.

Core retail sales exclude gas stations and fuel vendors, as well as motor vehicle and parts dealers. That category rose 0.4% in the year’s first month.

The increase in core retail sales was mostly due to higher sales at sporting goods, hobby, and miscellaneous retailers, which posted a 3% increase in the month.

In volume terms, Statistics Canada said retail sales rose 0.2% in January.

Statistics Canada's advance estimate of retail sales for February showed that sales increased 0.1% during the month, though the preliminary figure is due to be revised.