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Retail sales rise 0.1 per cent on stronger auto sales

Shoppers carry bags through Toronto's Eaton centre May 30, 2010.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

Statistics Canada says retail sales edged up 0.1 per cent to $39.5-billion in April, following flat sales in March.

The agency says stronger sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were offset by weaker sales at gasoline stations.

In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.5 per cent.

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Higher sales were reported in six of 11 subsectors, representing 51 per cent of total retail sales.

The largest sales increase in dollar terms among all subsectors was a 1.4 per cent advance at motor vehicle and parts dealers, with higher sales at new car dealers, particularly truck sales, leading the gain.

Retail sales rose in seven provinces in April, with Alberta reporting the largest increase in dollar terms – 1.7 per cent – on the strength of new and used car sales.

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