Retail sales rose 1.1 per cent in April to $65.9 billion

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 1.1 per cent to $65.9 billion in April as gains at general merchandise retailers and food and beverage stores led the way higher.

The result topped the agency’s initial estimate for the month that pointed to an increase of 0.2 per cent.

Sales at general merchandise retailers rose 3.3 per cent in April, while food and beverage retailers saw a gain of 1.5 per cent.

Core retail sales — which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors, and motor vehicle and parts dealers — gained 1.5 per cent in April.

In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent for the month.

Statistics Canada’s advance estimate for May suggested a gain of 0.5 per cent for that month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.