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Bank of Montreal
Symbol BMO
Shares Issued 647,059,842
Close 2021-03-19 C$ 111.58
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FP/wire say BMO's Reitzes upbeat on retail outlook

2021-03-22 08:17 ET - In the News

The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that Canadian retailers got a boost in February after public-health authorities lifted lockdowns. A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post says that retail sales rose 4 per cent on the month, preliminary data released on Friday by Statistics Canada show. The bounce-back comes after a 1.1-per-cent drop in receipts in January and a 3.7-per-cent decline in December, when many businesses were forced to close because of a second wave of COVID-19. The February numbers, however, suggest the worst is over as the economy emerges from the containment measures. Based on the preliminary estimates, sales were 4.6 per cent above year-ago levels. "The strong February estimate is welcome news -- likely driven by a rebound in Ontario and Quebec -- and bodes well for the economy as it continues to heal from last year's trauma," Benjamin Reitzes, a rates and macro strategist at Bank of Montreal, said in a report to investors. Mr. Reitzes adds that Canadian retailers should continue to benefit from the reopenings, but the threat of a third wave could provide a setback. Until a vaccine is widely available, in-store shopping is likely to face continued restrictions on capacity.

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