Cold weather and the release of new electronic products helped boost Canadian retail sales by a greater-than-expected 0.6 per cent in November, more than erasing a 0.1 per cent dip in October, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had expected a seasonally adjusted gain of only 0.2 per cent overall and 0.3 per cent excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers. The latter category gained 0.4 per cent.
Sales in volume terms were even greater, 0.8 per cent, signaling lower prices.
“Weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday,” the federal agency said.
Canadian retailers have only just begun imitating their U.S. counterparts in offering sales on Black Friday – the day after U.S. Thanksgiving Day – to discourage customers from crossing the border for better deals.
Early snowfalls boosted seasonal items in the “other motor vehicle dealers” category and in parts and tire stores. It also advanced the purchase of winter clothing.
Electronic and appliance stores gained 6.4 per cent, after a 3.0 per cent advance in October, on the strength of new product releases.