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OTTAWA (MNI)

Canadian retail sales likely stalled in November according to a flash estimate Friday from the federal statistics bureau, breaking a six-month run of gains including a 0.4% increase for October.

The November figure is based on a limited survey of 55% of retailers, Statistics Canada said.

The official figure for October was faster than the flat reading that economists had expected. The rise was led by a 1.5% climb at car and parts dealers, though new car sales were 23% lower than a year ago. Excluding motor vehicles and gasoline stations, sales increased 0.3%

Canada's economy is expected to stall this quarter and may shrink in the first quarter of 2021 as the rising toll of the pandemic keeps people away from stores and cuts into the rebound in employment. So far, retail sales are up 7.5% in October from a year ago.

StatsCan also boosted the September sales gain to 1.9% from 1.1%.

MNI Ottawa Bureau | +1 613-314-9647 | greg.quinn@marketnews.com