Retail sales flat in March at $39.5B: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says retail sales were flat in March, holding at $39.5 billion.

It says after removing the effects of price changes, particularly lower gasoline prices, retail sales in volume terms rose 0.7 per cent.

The agency says higher sales were reported in six of 11 subsectors, representing 47 per cent of total retail sales.

The largest increase in sales was a 3.1 per cent rise at clothing and clothing accessories stores, while sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 0.7 per cent for a third consecutive monthly gain.

Gasoline station sales decreased 1.3 per cent in March, mainly reflecting lower prices at the pump.

Retail sales rose in six provinces in March, with Ontario reporting the largest increase of 0.4 per cent in dollar terms.