10/22/2015 10:31 EDT | Updated 10/22/2016 05:12 EDT

Auto Sector Boosts August Retail Sales To $43.6 Billion: StatsCan

Retail sales rose 0.5 per cent in August

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Salesman talking man in automobile showroom

OTTAWA — Canadians who bought new and used cars in August helped boost retail sales for the fourth consecutive month.

Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers helped boost retail sales to $43.6 billion in August, up 0.5 per cent from the previous month and above an estimate of 0.1 per cent.

Excluding the auto subsector, retail sales were flat for the month, Statistics Canada reported Thursday.

It said sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers increased 2.0 per cent in August, the seventh consecutive increase. New car dealers increased 1.7 per cent, while used car dealers reported a 5.5 per cent increase.

Sales were up in four of the 11 subsectors tracked, representing 56 per cent of retail trade.

Food and beverage stores increased sales 0.5 per cent in August, helped by a 4.6 per cent gain in beer, wine and liquor stores. Furniture and home furnishings store sales grew 3.0 per cent, following three months of relatively flat sales.

Gasoline stations sales fell 0.6 per cent, while miscellaneous store retailers reported a 2.3 per cent drop.

In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.7 per cent.

Retail sales rose in seven provinces in August, but declined in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.