Canadian retail sales pared back most of their recent gains last month, as the country suffered through new lockdown restrictions during the key holiday season.

Retailers sold 2.1 per cent fewer goods in December, according to a preliminary estimate released Friday by Statistics Canada. That’s after a 0.7 per cent gain in November and a 1.5% increase in October, the agency said.

The numbers highlight how the emergence of the omicron variant hampered the expansion at the end of last year, as authorities shut down high-contact sectors and spooked customers. Yet, the slump is expected to be short-lived. Canada’s economy has shown resilience through successive waves of lockdowns and that’s unlikely to change.