By Robb M. Stewart

TORONTO--Retail sales in Canada unexpectedly edged lower in February, led by a drop in trade at gas stations and fuel vendors.

Sales fell 0.1% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 66.73 billion Canadian dollars, the equivalent of about $48.8 billion, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

The result was weaker than the data agency's preliminary estimate and the consensus forecast of economists, which were looking for sales to have ticked up 0.1% following January's drop of 0.3%.

Compared with a year earlier, retail sales in February were 1.2% higher.

The agency said that early indications suggest that retail sales were unchanged in March, though the figure was based on responses from 61.9% of the companies surveyed and will be revised.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 0848ET