Retail sales down 0.5 per cent in September

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.5 per cent to $61.1 billion in September led by a drop in sales at gas stations along with food and beverage stores.

However, the agency says its initial estimate for October pointed to a gain of 1.5 per cent for the month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.

For September, Statistics Canada says sales at gas stations fell 2.4 per cent as prices fell, while sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were relatively unchanged.

Sales at food and beverage stores dropped 1.3 per cent in September, as supermarkets and grocery store sales fell 1.6 per cent and convenience stores lost 1.5 per cent. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers fell 2.0 per cent.

Core retail sales — which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers — fell 0.4 per cent in September.

In volume terms, retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in September.