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Canadian retail sales rose for the second consecutive month, advancing 0.8 per cent in February. Higher sales were reported in 7 of the 11 retail sub-sectors. However, inflation adjusted sales were flat. Even with a relatively strong start to the year for the retail sector, we are still tracking first quarter real GDP growth in the Canadian economy at around 1.5 per cent

Retail sales in BC diverged from the national trend, falling 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis and declining 1 per cent year-over-year. We anticipate that BC retail sales will post below average growth in 2013, perhaps around 3 per cent but with some risk to the downside

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