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By Yali N'Diaye
     OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the May data 
on Canadian retail sales released Friday by Statistics Canada: 
     - ABOVE EXPECTED 
     Retail sales rose 2.0% in May, twice as much as the 1.0% gain 
expected by analysts in a MNI survey. Overall details were strong after 
sales were negatively impacted by the weather in April. The upward 
revision to April's reading, now down 0.9% instead of the 1.2% drop 
initially reported, also reinforced the strength of the report. In 
addition, gains were entirely volume related, as real sales were up 
2.0%, more than offsetting the previous month's decrease of 1.1%. 
     - WIDESPREAD GAINS 
     Gains were widespread across sectors, as sales increased in 8 of 11 
categories, representing 70% of retail trade. Advances were also 
widespread regionally, with seven provinces reporting higher sales. 
     -AUTOS RECOVER 
     Auto and parts sales rebounded 3.7% in May, offsetting their 3.8% 
decrease in April that had been impacted by cool temperatures and 
inclement weather. Sales excluding autos and parts were up 1.4% on the 
month, still better than the 0.5% gain expected by analysts. 
     -GAS PRICE BOOST 
     Gasoline receipts were the other major positive contributor, with 
sales up 4.3%, following a 1.9% increase the previous month, benefitting 
from rising prices. Real sales were still up 2.7%. Sales excluding 
gasoline stations recovered 1.7% in May after falling 1.3% in April. 
Excluding autos and gas, sales were up 0.9%, more than offsetting the 
0.2% decline in April. 
     -APRIL'S REVERSAL 
     -On a 12-month basis, total sales increased 3.6% after a 2.1% gain 
in April. Sales excluding autos rose 0.8% after edging down 0.3% in 
April. Overall, May's performance was partly a reversal of the weather 
impact the previous month. However, even when taking that factor into 
account, it should provide comfort to the Bank of Canada's confidence, 
especially with inflation continuing to firm. 
--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email: yali.ndiaye@marketnews.com 
[TOPICS: M$C$$$,MACDS$]

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