TORONTO, Ontario -- Scotiabank predicts that Canadian auto sales will rise to 1.69 million units this year -- the second-highest total on record.

The bank says 2013 sales will fall short of a Canadian record set in 2002 but edge up from last year's levels, which were six per cent above 2011.

Scotiabank economist Carlos Gomes says the growth is being fuelled by three resource-rich provinces, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

He says they set provincial records last year.

In contrast, Gomes expects volumes in the rest of Canada will remain six per cent below the 2002 peak -- even with a moderate gain this year.