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Canadian retail sales bounce back in January

Canadian retail sales edged up 0.3% in January, rebounding from a decline in the previous month, driven by strong general merchandise sales, Statistics Canada said.

Total retail trade in current dollars inched up to C$49.9 billion in January from the revised C$49.7 billion in December 2017. Year over year, total sales were up 3.6%. Excluding motor vehicles and parts dealers, sales rose 0.9% for the month following a decline in the previous month.

Sales at general merchandise stores rose 2.3% in January, after falling 5.3% in December 2017.

Sales for electronics and appliances, clothing and clothing accessories, and furniture and home furnishings also contributed to the increase in retail sales, showing 4.0%, 2.1% and 3.4% gains, respectively.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers sales fell 1.2% in January, reflecting weakness in British Columbia and Quebec.

Retail sales increased in six Canadian provinces in January, with Ontario posting the largest gain in dollar terms at 1.2%.