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Retail sales in Manitoba up in May

Manitoba consumers continue to spend at a healthy pace, with May retail sales up 0.7 per cent from April and 3.4 per cent from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said today.

The agency said the province’s retail industry rang up sales of $1.51 billion for the month. That compared to sales of just under $1.50 billion in April and $1.46 billion in May of last year.

The May increase followed a one per cent gain in April.

The increase here was part of a broad trend which saw retail sales rise in nine provinces in May. Prince Edward Island had the biggest percentage gain at 4.9 per cent, while British Columbia posted the only decline — a 0.1 dip.

Nationally, Canada’s retailers also saw their sales rise by 0.7 per cent from April to May — $42.0 billion versus $41.7 billion. May’s total was also a four-per-cent improvement from a year earlier.

Economists had expected a monthly gain of 0.6 per cent for Canada, according to Thomson Reuters.

Statistics Canada says motor vehicle sales, along with auto parts, led the way as they gained 2.5 per cent. Sales of new cars and trucks rose 2.3 per cent in May, with a record 197,740 sold, following on a 3.5 per cent jump in April.

Excluding autos, retail sales were up 0.1 per cent for the month. Economists had expected a gain of 0.3 per cent.

— Staff/Canadian Press

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