Statistics Canada says retail sales dropped 0.1 per cent to $61.8 billion in November.
However, the federal agency says its preliminary estimate for December suggests retail sales edged back up 0.5 per cent for that month, though it cautioned the figure would be revised.
Retail sales decreased in six of 11 subsectors, representing 47.4 per cent of retail trade.
Statistics Canada says the decrease was led by lower sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, down 3.8 per cent from the previous month, and food and beverage stores, down 1.6 per cent.
Overall core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers, decreased 1.1 per cent – the largest decline in 11 months.
In volume terms, retail sales decreased 0.4 per cent in November.
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