Retail numbers on the climb

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian retailers sold $23.7 billion worth of goods and services in March, up 0.3 per cent from the previous month.

This increase offset the 0.3 per cent decline experienced in February.

Retailers reported strong monthly sales increases in January 2001, up 0.5 per cent, and December 2000, a full percentage point, after experiencing a period of essentially flat sales that started in July 2000.

In March 2001, retail sales were 1.6 per cent higher than they were in July 2000.

Consumers spent considerably more during March compared with February in furniture stores, up 1.9 per cent, and in clothing stores, up 0.9 per cent, than in other retail establishments.

Smaller sales advances were also noted in the automotive sector, in general merchandise stores and in drug stores.

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