OTTAWA, June 20 (UPI) -- Retail sales in Canada increased 0.6 percent to $35.6 billion in April from March, the fifth increase in seven months, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
The agency said sales in six of eight sectors were up, with clothing and accessories leading with 2.8-percent growth. There was a 1.9-percent increase in sales by the gasoline stations trade group, along with a 1.8-percent increase in general merchandise, StatsCan said.
Overall, "retail sales have generally been rising at a rapid pace since 2004," the agency said.
Despite six provinces posting lower retail sales in April, national sales were shored by a strong 3.4-percent increase in Quebec, without whose gain would have meant a slight decline in the national level, the report said.
All of the western provinces posted lower retail sales in April, which the agency attributed to weak new motor vehicle sales.