(Adds detail) OTTAWA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Canadian retail sales surpassed expectations to spike up 2.3 percent in December, the highest monthly gain in nine years, led by purchases of cars, clothing and general merchandise, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday. The flurry of retail activity at year-end beat the 1.0 percent rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and is the latest in a string of data suggesting a pickup in economic growth in December. The strength was spread across all ...
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