OTTAWA – Canadian manufacturing sales increased more than expected in March on strength in primary metals, aerospace products and parts, fabricated metals and other transportation equipment, Statistics Canada reported on Wednesday.
Factory sales rose 1.4%, surpassing the 1.2% gain expected by economists, and February's increase was upwardly revised to 2.7% from a previously reported 1.9%.
Volume rose a more modest 0.6% in March.
Sales of primary metals rose 4.2%, building on a 4.4% increase in February. Iron and steel mills and ferro-alloy as well as alumina and aluminum production and processing industries posted the largest sales gains in the month.
In the aerospace industry, production increased 10.6% in March after a 4.0% gain in February, boosted by the depreciation of the Canadian dollar.
Sales were up by 4.6% in the fabricated metal product industries, by 37.4% in other transportation equipment and by 3.7% in the wood product industries.
The gains were partly offset by a 2% decline in the motor vehicle industry, a 1.7% drop in machinery and a 3.4% decrease in computer and electronic products.
Inventories rose 0.7% to a record high, making for a sixth consecutive monthly increase, driven by gains in the transportation, chemical and plastic and rubber product industries.