Retail sales rose for a third consecutive month in June, up 0.7 per cent to $37.8 billion.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that motor vehicle and parts dealers were responsible for almost all of the gain, as without activity in that sector sales actually fell 0.1 per cent.

Sales were up on a monthly basis, and they were also 4.6 per cent higher in July than they were during the same month a year earlier.

Higher sales and lower prices for new cars accounted for most of the 1.6 per cent increase in volume terms. (Volume refers to the total amount of goods sold, while the topline figure tracks the dollar value of goods shipped.)

Gains were reported in 6 of 11 subsectors that the data agency tracks.

Sales also rose in seven provinces. The largest gain (of 1.5 per cent) came in Quebec, while Alberta saw the greatest decline, of 0.3 per cent.