Canada July retail sales up 0.6%, are now above pre-pandemic levels


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OTTAWA, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales in July rose by 0.6% and are now higher than they were before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Statistics Canada said on Friday, adding that August sales probably gained 1.1% on the month.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast retail sales would increase by 1.0% from June, when trade jumped by 22.7% as restrictions imposed to fight the outbreak were removed.

"The data continue to suggest that the pace of growth seen in June wasn't sustained early in the third quarter," said Royce Mendes of CIBC Economics.

Sales grew in six of the 11 subsectors, with motor vehicles and parts contributing the most. Gas sales also posted gains.

Excluding those two subsectors, overall sales fell 1.2% on lower sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers as well as at food and beverage stores. (Reporting by Steve Scherer, David Ljunggren and Dale Smith; editing by Jonathan Oatis) ((; +1-613-235-6745;)) Keywords: CANADA ECONOMY/RETAIL (UPDATE 1)

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