Retail sales rise in March

OTTAWA — Retail sales rose for the second consecutive month in March, advancing 0.7% to $42.5 billion, according to StatCan. Despite these increases, retail sales remained below their historical peak recorded in November 2014. Sales in March were up in 7 of 11 subsectors, representing 71% of retail trade. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and food and beverage stores led the gain. Excluding sales in these two subsectors, retail sales edged up 0.1%. In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.1%. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers reported higher sales for the fourth month in a row with an increase of 1.6%.