Seasonally adjusted sales in the Canadian retail trade sector unexpectedly edged down 0.1% month over month in August to C$51.54 billion, following a revised 0.6% growth in July, according to latest data from Statistics Canada.
The consensus estimate from economists polled by Econoday was for a monthly increase of 0.6% in August.
Sales declined in six of 11 subsectors, representing 51% of retail trade, Statistics Canada said.
Sales at food and beverage stores fell 0.8% month over month in August, marking the first decline in three months, as a drop in sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores offset gains from the previous month.
Gasoline station sales declined 0.4% due to lower prices, and sales at dealers of building materials, garden equipment and supplies decreased 0.5%.
General merchandise stores and motor vehicle and parts dealers recorded sales growth of 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively.