People wear face masks as they shop in a department store in Montreal, Sunday, August 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

People wear face masks as they shop in a department store in Montreal, Sunday, August 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 2.1 per cent in August

Sales at food and beverage stores rose 4.8 per cent

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 2.1 per cent to $57.2 billion in August, boosted by gains at food and beverage stores, gasoline stations and clothing and clothing accessories stores.

However, the agency says its initial estimate for September suggests retail sales reversed course in September and fell 1.9 per cent, though it cautioned the figure will be revised.

In August, sales were up in nine of 11 subsectors as core retail sales — which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers — gained 2.7 per cent.

Sales at food and beverage stores rose 4.8 per cent, to post their first increase in three months, as sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores gained 4.5 per cent to lead the way higher.

Clothing and clothing accessories stores saw sales climb 3.9 per cent higher in the month to reach a new record, while higher prices helped gasoline station sales rise 3.8 per cent.

In volume terms, retail sales rose 1.4 per cent in August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.

Retail