Retail trade numbers improve slightly

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Retail sales advanced 0.2 per cent in May to $24.3 billion, following a 1.8 per cent increase in April.

Higher prices were reported for gasoline, cigarettes and fresh fruit, which Statistics Canada says pushed totals higher.

Retail sales have gained strength since November of last year, after four consecutive months of essentially no gains. May sales were 3.8 per cent higher than those of November 2000. Between November and May, increases were observed every month except for a modest decline in February of 0.1 per cent.

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