LBM, garden supplies buck trend as retail sales decline

OTTAWA — Retail sales in May declined for the first time in four months, according to StatCan, edging down 0.1% to $51.5 billion. Sales of building materials and garden equipment, however, rose by 0.2% to $3.25 billion. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations, retail sales decreased 1%. Sales were down in four of 11 subsectors, representing 39% of retail trade. Lower sales at food and beverage stores were the main contributors to the decline. After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms decreased 0.5%.