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Canada’s retail sales fall most since 2010 in December

Shoppers are seen at the Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto. Retail sales decreased 2.2 per cent to $43.2-billion in December, Statistics Canada said.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Canadian retail sales fell at the fastest pace in more than five years in December, on reduced holiday shopping and as a late start to winter snowfall curbed vehicle purchases.

Sales decreased 2.2 per cent to $43.2-billion, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. The decline exceeded all 20 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey that had a median estimate of a 0.9 per cent fall.

Motor vehicle and parts sales fell 3.9 per cent to $11-billion, including a 6.7 per cent drop in the "other motor vehicle dealers" category that includes snowmobiles.

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Sales declined in 10 of 11 categories marking 97 per cent of total sales. General merchandise receipts fell 2.2 per cent and at clothing stores they declined 3.6 per cent.

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