OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says retail sales edged up 0.1 per cent in April to $51.5 billion, boosted by food and drink sales and higher prices for gasoline.

Economists had expected an increase of 0.2 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Sales were up in seven of 11 subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada.

Sales at gasoline stations were up 1.2 per cent, although sales fell 0.7 per cent in volume terms, reflecting higher prices at the pump.

Food and beverage stores saw sales climb 0.4 per cent, boosted by higher sales at beer, wine and liquor stores and specialty food stores.

Motor vehicle and parts dealers saw sales edge up 0.1 per cent on the strength of a 1.2 per cent increase in sales at new car dealers that offset lower sales at other store types within this subsector.