Canada retail sales contracted -0.2% mom to CAD 66.3B in February, better than expectation of -0.6% mom. Sales decreased in 4 of 9 subsectors, representing 48.0% of retail trade. The decrease was led by lower sales at gasoline stations and fuel vendors (-5.0%) and general merchandise retailers (-1.6%).
Core retail sales—which exclude gasoline stations and fuel vendors and motor vehicle and parts dealers—increased 0.1% mom.
In volume terms, retail sales decreased -0.7% mom in February.
Advance estimate suggests that sales decreased another -1.4% mom in March.