Retail sales edged up 0.1 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.1 per cent to $59.9 billion in February as gains in sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores and gasoline stations were offset by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

The agency says core retail sales — which exclude sales at gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers — rose 1.4 per cent.

Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores gained 15.1 per cent for the month, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 5.6 per cent. Sales at gasoline stations added 6.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 5.1 per cent, the largest drop for the group since a 6.2 per cent drop in December 2020.

In volume terms, retail sales were down 0.4 per cent in February.

Looking ahead, Statistics Canada says its initial estimate for retail sales in March suggests a gain of 1.4 per cent for the month, but cautioned the figure will be revised.