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    Canada Retail Sales Rise on Gas

    Fifth gain in six months thanks to nearly 5-percent jump in value of gas station sales.

    NEW YORK -- Canada's retail sales rose five times higher than forecast in June, and the fifth gain in six months, on sales of gasoline and car parts, Bloomberg News reported.

    Sales rose 1 percent to C$34.4 billion ($31.8 billion), according to Statistics Canada data cited by the news agency. Economists expected a 0.2-percent increase, based on estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

    Retail sales have rebounded from a two-year low of C$33.1 billion in December, in the early months of the recession, the report stated. Excluding the effect of price changes, retail sales rose 0.4 percent in June, according to the Statistics Canada report cited by Bloomberg News.

    Due to higher prices, the value of sales at gas stations and convenience stores rose 4.7 percent. Sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.3 percent, the report stated.

    The up tick is a sign Canada's economy is recovering from the recession, the report stated. The Bank of Canada said last month the country will come out of the recession in the third quarter.

    "I didn’t expect as much strength as the report showed," Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse Holdings Inc. in New York, said in the report. The figures are an "encouraging sign that will reinforce the Bank of Canada’s notion—and our notion at Credit Suisse—that the recession ended in the second quarter and recovery will start in the third quarter."

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