OTTAWA (CP) -- Statistics Canada says the value of retail sales rose 0.4 percent to $35.3 billion in December, offsetting the previous month's decline.
In volume terms, sales advanced even more at 0.6 percent.
The December report is expected to add to the already positive expectations for fourth-quarter economic growth.
The agency said five of eight retail sectors gained in December.
The biggest advance was the 3.3 percent gain registered by general merchandisers, including departments stores.
As well, clothing and accessories stores advanced 2.1 percent, boosted by the shoe component, which jumped 5.2 percent.
Sales in the auto sector advanced 0.9 percent and gasoline stations 2.2 percent.
Declines occurred in three sectors: food and beverage, supermarkets and stores that sell beer, wine and liquor.
Statistics Canada said sales rose in six provinces during the month.