Canada's retail sales contracted a little less than expected in January as lower goods prices and lower sales of motor vehicle and parts weighed down on the number, data showed on Friday.

Retail sales dropped by 0.3% in January from a healthy 0.9% jump in December which was led by holiday season sales, Statistics Canada said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 0.4% drop in retail sales.

A preliminary estimate of February's sales figure showed that the sales were likely to increase by 0.1%, but this data is sourced only from half of the total respondents the Statscan usually surveys, it said.

In volume terms, however, sales were up 0.2% in January.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Dale Smith;)