Canadian retail sales rose one per cent in June, the fifth gain in the last six months, and a boost economists say proves the recession is over.
Statistics Canada said Monday that retail sales hit $34.4 billion in June, higher than expected. Adjusted for inflation, retail sales were up 0.4 per cent compared with May.
Gasoline was the biggest driver, with sales at the pump rising 4.7 per cent in June compared with May, due largely to higher prices. Auto sales were up 2.1 per cent.
StatsCan said overall retail volume was up 0.4 per cent from May, with sales rising in six of eight sectors.
It’s the second-straight month of gains, with May’s retail sales rising by 1.1 per cent from April, when sales fell by 0.7 per cent.
“Gains in retail sales add further weight to growing evidence that Canada’s recession ended in June,” said CIBC World Markets economist Krishen Rangasamy.
“Gains in retailing were broad-based, with June’s one per cent advance buoyed not only by prices but more importantly by volumes.”
Rangasamy noted all provinces saw retail gains in June, with the exception of New Brunswick, where sales fell 0.2 per cent.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw the strongest sales growth at 2.8 and 2.3 per cent respectively.
Ontario sales grew by a mere 0.1 per cent compared with May, beat only slightly by Prince Edward Island which saw sales up 0.2 per cent, while British Columbia was up 0.7 per cent.
Sales in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were up 1.8 per cent and one per cent respectively. Quebec’s sales rose 1.8 per cent and Alberta’s 1.3 per cent.