OTTAWA — Statistics Canada reports retail sales soared 23.7 percent in June to $53.0 billion, climbing above pre-pandemic levels for the first time as more parts of the country moved ahead with plans to reopen their economies.
The agency says sales were up 1.3 percent compared with February, the last month before broad shutdowns were ordered by public health officials to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic
It added that early estimates suggest retail sales increased by 0.7 percent in July.
Economists on average had expected an increase of 24.5 percent for June, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Retail sales in June were up across all of the subsectors with the motor vehicle and parts dealers group up 53.4 percent.
Sales at non-essential retailers also surged higher with clothing and clothing accessories stores posting a 142.3 percent gain in June.