Statistics Canada says retail sales climbed 0.9 per cent in November to $51.5 billion, boosted by gains in the auto sector.
The agency says the increase for the month largely offset a revised 1.1 per cent decline in October. The initial report for October had been a drop of 1.2 per cent.
Economists on average had expected an increase of 0.4 per cent for November, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Sales were up in six of 11 subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada, representing 70 per cent of retail trade.
The motor vehicle and parts dealers subsector gained 3.0 per cent, led primarily by sales at new car dealers. Food and beverage stores saw sales rise 0.9 per cent, while building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers reported an increase of 2.1 per cent.
Excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales were up 0.2 per cent for the month. Economists had expected an increase of 0.4 per cent, excluding autos, according to Refinitiv.