(Adds details from report)
OTTAWA Dec 22 Canadian retail sales rose far
more than expected in October as consumers bought more at
general merchandise stores, although they paid more for
gasoline, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.
Sales rose 1.1 percent in October, the third straight
monthly advance, and topped economists' expectations for a gain
of 0.2 percent.
While higher prices at the pump were the main contributor,
there were signs of strength more broadly with sales up in nine
of 11 sectors, representing 90 percent of total retail trade.
Sales at general merchandise stores jumped 1.9 percent,
which could suggest families were starting to spend the child
benefit checks the government began mailing out in July.
Clothing sales also rose 1.4 percent and gains were seen
across store types.
Excluding the effects of price changes, retail sales volumes
rose 0.6 percent, which could bode well for broader economic
growth at the start of the fourth quarter. The economy is
expected to have slowed at the end of the year following a
strong rebound in the third quarter.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr)