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    As COVID-19 restrictions slowly relax in some parts of the country, StatCan says retail sales rose 3.6 per cent in March. This totaled $57.6 billion in retail sales across Canada. The March increase was largely influenced by building material, garden equipment, and supply stores. Statistics Canada said they led the increase in sales by 19.8 per cent.

    Sales of clothing and clothing accessories stores also experienced a rise in sales. They reached their highest level since the start of the pandemic by increasing sales by 23.6 per cent. Core retail sales rose by 4.7 per cent but excluded sales at gasoline stations, and motor vehicle and part dealers. When looking at volume terms, retail sales rose 3.2 per cent during March, according to StatCan.

    The preliminary estimate of retail sales suggests sales fell in April by 5.1 per cent. This is most likely due to the government imposing restrictions to slow the transmission of COVID-19. As a result, the increase seen in March is based on the lower sales in April.

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