Canadian retail sales rose faster than economists forecast in June as shoppers took advantage of easier rules on mobile phone contracts.
Total sales increased 0.6 per cent from the previous month to a record $43.2-billion, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast a 0.2 per cent increase, based on the median of 20 projections.
Electronics and appliance store sales rose 9.4 per cent, the fastest in records back to 1991, in a month where new regulations limited the duration of mobile phone contracts.
Sales rose in eight of 11 major categories representing 64 per cent of retailing, including a 2.6 per cent increase at gasoline stations on higher prices.
Consumer spending has been aided this year by job gains and low interest rates. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, campaigning for an Oct. 19 election, has touted the economy's resilience through an oil shock that has curbed exports.
Today's report supported Harper's case, with sales gaining in all 10 of Canada's provinces including Alberta where the damage from the oil crash is greatest.
The volume of sales, which excludes the effects of price changes and more closely reflects the industry's contribution to economic growth, was little changed in June.
From the same month a year earlier, retail sales have increased by 1.4 per cent.
This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.