UPDATE 2-Canada's Dec retail sales herald more rate hikes


(Recasts throughout) By Gilbert Le Gras OTTAWA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Higher than expected retail sales in December herald stronger sales in January due to the popularity of Christmas gift cards, and that points to two more interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada, analysts said on Tuesday. Statistics Canada said December retail sales rose 0.3 percent from November. Analysts had expected an increase of 0.2 percent. "This recent shift towards gift cards that retailers don't count until ...

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