Fuel Prices Push Sept. Retail Sales Up

Retail sales in this country inched up 0.1% to $49.1 billion in September largely because of higher prices at gas stations.

Figures released Thursday by Statistics Canada also revealed that retail sales were up in five of 11 sectors of the economy that the agency tracks.

But it was gas stations that were completely responsible for the gain. If sales at gas stations were to be stripped out, sales fell 0.2%

In volume terms, sales for the month were down 0.6% The nation's number crunchers September saw sharply higher Canadian gas prices because Hurricane Harvey at the end of August knocked U.S. refining capacity offline.

The numbers showed sales were down in half of the provinces, and Scotiabank noted that contractions in two of the last three months in both Alberta and Saskatchewan suggest a further cooling of the pent-up spending demand that was unleashed in the oil patch in the first quarter following two years of recession.