Canada Retail Sales Surge in February

Canadian retail sales racked up their biggest increase in eight months in February, lifted by widespread gains and an increase in sales at gasoline stations, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

Sales rose 1.7 percent, handily topping economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.5 percent and ending two consecutive months of declines. It was the largest increase since last June, the agency said.

In volume terms, sales rose 1.3 percent. As well, January’s figures were upwardly revised to show a decline of 1.4 percent from the previously reported 1.7 percent drop .

Gains were seen in all 11 sectors, including a 2.2 percent increase in sales at gasoline stations as prices rose. It was the first increase for gasoline sales since the price of oil peaked in June 2014.

The report could bode well for first quarter growth forecasts, though the Bank of Canada said earlier this week it expects the economy to have stalled in the first three months of the year.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza