By Nirmala Menon

OTTAWA--Canadian retail sales grew almost four times faster than expected in June to a record level as the early rounds of the FIFA World cup spurred sales of wine and beer, and consumers also boosted spending on lawn and garden products.

Retail sales jumped 1.1% to C$42.58 billion Canadian dollars ($38.90 billion) from an upwardly revised 0.9% increase in May, Statistics Canada said Friday. It was the highest level of sales in the statistical agency's records dating to 1991.

Sales excluding the auto sector rose five times faster than expected, increasing 1.5% to C$32.61 billion from an upwardly revised 0.3 gain in the previous month.

Market expectations had been for overall sales to slow to 0.3% from the originally reported 0.7% gain in May, according to a report from Royal Bank of Canada. Ex-auto sales had been expected to rise 0.3% from the initially reported 0.1% increase previously.

Sales volume, which economists use to estimate the contribution to monthly output growth, was up 0.6%, adding to previous indicators that suggest decent monthly gross domestic product growth in June. The retail sales number are the final piece of data for economists to nail down forecasts of GDP, which will be issued at the end of next week.

Write to Nirmala Menon at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 22, 2014 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT)

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