* Retail sales +0.2 pct from July; forecast +0.3 pct
* Retail ex-autos +0.4 pct; forecast +0.2 pct
* Retail gain follows wholesale data release of +0.5 pct
* Data so far points to modest economic growth in August
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA, Oct 22 Canadian retail sales rose
modestly in August, their second consecutive monthly rise,
according to Statistics Canada data on Tuesday that pointed to
similarly modest economic growth for the month.
The 0.2 percent rise in retail sales just missed the 0.3
percent consensus in a Reuters survey of analysts, after a
downwardly revised 0.5 percent rise in July. Excluding motor
vehicle and parts dealers, sales rose 0.4 percent, beating
street expectations of a 0.2 percent gain.
The volume of sales, used in calculating real gross domestic
product (GDP), was also up by 0.2 percent.
August wholesale trade, released on Monday, showed a gain of
0.5 percent, but with a different composition than retail.
Wholesale was boosted by a gain in the auto sector, whereas
retail sales of motor vehicles and parts fell 0.5 percent in
"With the manufacturing and wholesale figures already in
hand, the small gain in retail sales volumes suggests August GDP
will come in around plus 0.2 percent, consistent with our call
for 2 percent annualized growth in (the third quarter)," BMO
Capital Markets senior economist Benjamin Reitzes said in a note
The Bank of Canada says the economy has a potential growth
rate of 2.1 percent for this year, so third-quarter growth of 2
percent would not be soaking up any excess capacity.
"We're pretty much right on potential growth, so that's one
more reason for the Bank (of Canada) to wait a little longer, or
a lot longer, more likely," Reitzes told Reuters.
The retail sector has been mostly rising since the 2008-2009
financial crisis. Year on year, sales were up 2.7 percent.
However, the gains in July and August only barely made up for a
0.7 percent fall in June.
The Bank of Canada next sets interest rates at 10 a.m. EDT
(1400 GMT) on Wednesday, along with a new set of economic
forecasts, and Statistics Canada will release GDP data for
August on Oct. 31.