UPDATE 1-Canada's Christmas shopping shows weak Dec sales

Newswire

OTTAWA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian Christmas shopping season was surprisingly weak, according to Statistics Canada figures released on Monday. December retail sales fell by 1.4 percent, much more than the 0.1 percent fall analysts had expected. Overall sales for 2004, however, rose 5.0 percent. The numbers contrasted with wholesale trade data for the same month, released on Friday, which showed a 1.1 percent gain. In November, retail sales had fallen 0.1 percent. Adjusted for ...

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