Canadian retail sales unexpectedly fell by 0.1 per cent in October from September as a downturn at car dealerships offset upbeat supermarket sales, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
Market analysts had forecast a 0.2 per cent increase in monthly sales, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll.
The weak reading followed three straight months of gains as four of the 11 retail subsectors declined. In volume terms, retail sales grew 0.2 per cent in October.
Overall sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 1.9 per cent. New car sales slid 1.6 per cent after a 4.6 per cent surge in the previous month. Gasoline station sales fell 1.6 per cent.
On the other hand, food and beverage stores registered a 1.7 per cent jump in sales.
Total sales excluding the auto sector grew 0.4 per cent.