Retail sales fell in December by their largest margin since 2010. The 2 per cent drop includes lower spending at the gas pumps (7.4 per cent lower than a year earlier) but when gasoline is factored out there was still a 1.2 per cent decline in sales. At a time when Christmas gift shopping would normally be at its highest there was a 5.6 per cent drop in sales of clothing and accessories. There was some brighter news from the StatsCan report; 3.1 per cent rise in sales of speciality foods and a 4 per cent rise in alcohol sales. November had seen a 0.4 per cent rise in sales which is likely to be related to the increase in Black Friday sales. Alberta and Saskatchewan was the biggest declines in December sales falling 2.5 and 3.6 per cent respectively.
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