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Construction workers rig materials for a lift during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Sept. 29, 2020.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.4 per cent to $53.2-billion in August.

It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase for retail sales since a record drop in April, when pandemic-related restrictions shuttered most non-essential businesses.

Economists on average had expected an increase of 1.1 per cent, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

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Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers rose 4.5 per cent, while sales at food and beverage stores climbed 0.8 per cent.

Retail sales in volume terms were up 0.5 per cent in August.

The results came as Statistics Canada says an preliminary estimate for September suggests retail sales were relatively unchanged for the month, but added that the figure will be revised.

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