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Retail sales down in December

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Manitoba’s retail sector ended 2012 on a bit of a sour note, with December sales down 1.6 per cent from the previous month and two per cent from a year earlier.

Statistics Canada said today the province’s retailers rang up $1.38 billion worth of sales during the month. That compared to sales of $1.40 billion in November and $1.41 billion in the final month of 2011.

The downturn here was part of a country-wide trend which saw retail sales fall in every province and territory. The month-to-month declines in the others ranged from a low of 0.7 per cent in Prince Edward Island to a high of 5.3 per cent in the Yukon.

Canada saw its retail sales fall by 2.1 per cent, which was the largest drop since April 2010. Economists had expected a decline of just 0.3 per cent.

"Most store types typically associated with holiday shopping registered weaker sales in December," the agency said, adding were down in seven of the 11 subsectors it tracks.

Excluding sales a motor vehicle and parts dealers, which saw a 6.4 per cent decline, overall retail sales fell 0.9 per cent.

— with files by Canadian Press

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

 

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