MONTREAL — For the second year in a row, fur retailers are coming off a strong season as the U.S. economy picked up steam and cold temperatures in the Northeast kept sales robust, according to buyers attending the 22nd annual North American Fur and Fashion Exhibition in Montreal here May 2-5 at Place Bonaventure.

The 200,000-square-foot exhibition hall was sold out again this year as 200 exhibitors were busy taking the orders of buyers from around the world. Fur sales in the U.S. last year increased 13 percent to $1.7 billion from a year ago, while estimated sales in Canada rose 5 percent to 6 percent to $350 million, according to the Fur Council of Canada. All figures have been converted from Canadian dollars at current exchange.

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