Canadian retail sales rose far more than expected in October, posting their biggest increase in nine months as consumers bought more new and used cars, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.
The 1.5 per cent increase handily topped forecasts for a gain of 0.3 per cent and was the strongest performance since January. Stripping out the effects of price changes, volumes were also strong, up 1.4 per cent.
Seven of the 11 sectors had sales increases and accounted for 79 per cent of retail trade.
“It’s a dangerous game doubting the Canadian consumer, and analysts got burned for forecasting lackluster October retailing results,” CIBC Economist Nick Exarhos wrote in a note to clients Thursday.
Motor vehicle sales contributed the most to the gain, up 3.3 per cent as Canadians continued to purchase cars. Vehicle sales have been robust this year, putting 2017 on track to hit 2 million for the first time, according to an industry forecast.
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