Building supplies buoy winter retail losses

OTTAWA — Retail sales rose 1.3% to $40.7 billion in January, partially offsetting the decline in December, according to StatCan data. Gains were reported in seven of 11 sub-sectors, representing 83% of total retail sales. The 7% sales advance at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers almost offset the weather influenced decline in December. Constant dollar sales increased 1.4%, indicative of higher volumes of goods sold.