Statistics Canada released retail sales data on Friday. Canadian retail sales climbed by 0.7% in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.3% gain, after a 1.5% rise in February. February's figure was revised down from a 1.7% increase.
It was the second consecutive increase.
The rise was driven by higher cars, food and alcohol sales. Motor vehicle and parts sales gained 1.5% in March, while sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.3%.
Sales at gasoline stations were down 0.5% in March.
Canadian retail sales excluding automobiles were up 0.5% in March, exceeding expectations for a 0.4% increase, after a 1.8% rise in February. February's figure was revised down from a 2.0% increase.