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Canadian Retail Sales Rise Faster than Forecast

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Canadian Retail Sales Rise Faster than Forecast

Canadian retail sales rose faster than forecast in February, a sign consumer spending was regaining momentum after the weather-induced slowdown.

Retail sales in Canada edged up 0.5 percent in February, following a revised gain of 0.9 percent the previous month, Statistics Canada reported today in Ottawa. A broad consensus of market analysts expected retail sales to have risen 0.4 percent in February.

Excluding automobiles, retail revenues increased 0.6 percent. Excluding sales at gas stations and motor vehicle dealers, sales advanced 0.8 percent, official data showed.

Gains were reported in seven of the 11 retail subsectors, representing more than half of total sales. Sales at home furnishing stores rose 2.7 percent, while sales at health and personal care stores were up 2.6 percent. Revenues at clothing stores rose 1.8 percent, while general merchandise stores increased 1.4 percent.

Retail revenues remained below November’s peak, Statistics Canada showed today. Consumer spending took a considerable hit at the end of last year as inclement weather disrupted activity across the Canadian economy. Several recent batches of economic data suggest the Canadian economy was recovering at the start of 2014. Positive job growth and rising business confidence suggest the economy is well on its way to achieving the Bank of Canada’s growth target of around 2.5 percent.

In currency news, the Canadian dollar was unable to rally, as the markets shifted their attention to an active US data wire. In the early North American session the USDCAD pair was trading at 1.1048, up 20 pips.

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