Statistics Canada released retail sales data on Friday. Canadian retail sales climbed by 2.1% in January, exceeding expectations for a 0.6% gain, after a 2.1% decrease in December. December's figure was revised up from a 2.2% drop.
The increase was mainly driven by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, and at general merchandise stores. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers rose by 4.8% in January, while sales at general merchandise stores increased by 4.9%.
Sales at gasoline stations declined 1.6% in January, while sales at food and beverage stores were flat.
Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers increased 3.0% in January, while sales at furniture and home furnishings stores declined 0.4%.
Canadian retail sales excluding automobiles rose 1.2% in January, beating expectations for a 0.4% gain, after a 1.7% drop in December. December's figure was revised down from a 1.6% fall.