* Nov retail sales up 0.2 pct vs forecast of no change
* Sales excluding autos fall 0.3 pct
* Autos, electronics push up overall sales in the month
OTTAWA, Jan 22 Canadian retail sales jumped in
November despite predictions they would stall, giving a boost to
economic growth but not changing expectations that the pace of
increases in consumer spending will continue to slow.
Retail sales climbed 0.2 percent to a record high of C$39.4
billion ($39.8 billion), with new cars and electronics
contributing most to the gains, Statistics Canada said on
Analysts said the adoption of U.S.-style "Black Friday"
events in November to persuade Canadian shoppers to spend cash
at home instead of across the border in U.S. malls may have
"Retailers can once again thank a stronger Black Friday push
in November for helping to gussy up their bottom lines," said
Emanuella Enenajor, economist at CIBC.
The average forecast in a Reuters survey was for sales to
remain flat. Retail sales have risen for five consecutive months
and were up 1.4 percent in November from a year earlier.
In volume terms, which is used to calculate gross domestic
product growth, sales rose 0.8 percent. November GDP data is due
for release on Jan. 31
GDP looks set to grow by about 0.2 percent in November based
on the new data, analysts said. But while retail sales likely
increased in the fourth quarter, growth is expected to be slower
than in the third quarter and that trend is expected to continue
Consumer spending has been a key engine of growth in Canada
since the 2008-09 recession. But the Bank of Canada and other
economists see it contributing less this year, while the housing
market will also cool. Exports and manufacturing sales have yet
to recover to pre-recession levels.
"Following a strong showing in Q3, we expect the pace of
consumer spending will expand at a more modest sub-2 percent
rate in the final quarter of 2012. This will help to mitigate
the expected drag from net exports," said Mazen Issa, a
strategist with TD Securities.
In a report due on Wednesday, the Bank of Canada will likely
revise down its fourth-quarter economic forecast from a previous
estimate of 2.5 percent, annualized. Economists polled by
Reuters unanimously expect it to keep its key interest rate
unchanged at 1.0 percent.
Sales at motor vehicle dealers grew 1.8 percent in November,
and sales at electronics and appliance stores jumped 8.9
Statscan said the electronics sales "could be affected by
the timing of new product releases," but it would not comment on
specific products. Apple released its iPad mini in November.
Overall, sales were up only in four of 11 subsectors
representing 32 percent of total retail trade, Statscan said,
and excluding the auto sector, they fell 0.3 percent in the