Sales at large Canadian retailers edged up by 0.1 percent in May to reach C$7.65 billion (approx. U.S. $5.84 billion), building on a slight increase in April, Statistics Canada said.
May sales were 5.3 percent up from the level in May 2003.
The eight major retail groups saw mixed results in May, with an even split between the number showing increases in sales and those showing a decline, the government statistics agency said.
It said the strongest sales growth was in food and beverages, up 0.9 percent month-on-month, while hardware, lawn, and garden products saw steep falls of 4.7 percent.
Even so, sales of food and beverages were still below a 2004 peak that was set in January. May sales were up 4.5 percent from a year earlier.
Furniture, home furnishing, and electronic sales posted the second largest increase in May, rising 0.5 percent, but sales of household appliances fell 3.9 percent after four consecutive months of significant gains. The decline in appliance sales, however, was more than offset by gains around 2.0 percent for both home electronic and home furnishing sales. (Reuters)
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