OTTAWA—Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.5 per cent to $43.6 billion in August, boosted by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.
Economists had expected a gain of 0.1 per cent.
Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers increased 2.0 per cent in August, the seventh consecutive increase. New car dealers increased 1.7 per cent, while used car dealers reported a 5.5 per cent increase.
Excluding the auto subsector, retail sales were flat for the month.
Retail sales rose in seven provinces in August with Quebec’s gain of 1.2 per cent the largest increase in dollar terms.
Sales in B.C. rose 1.4 per cent, while Ontario gained 0.2 per cent.