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Canada manufacturing sales fell more than expected in October amid GM strike

Manufacturing sales in Canada declined more than expected on a monthly basis in October as a labor strike by U.S. car factory workers affected domestic factory activity.

Statistics Canada reported that seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales fell 0.7% to C$57.06 billion in October from an upwardly revised C$57.44 billion in September. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for sales to decrease 0.4%.

Sales of transportation equipment and fabricated metal products logged the largest monthly declines, falling 3.1% and 8.2%, respectively. These decreases were partially offset by sales in the petroleum and coal product industry, which climbed 6.2% following four consecutive months of decrease.

Sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts dropped 4.7% and 4.6% month over month, respectively, in October. "This reflected lower activity at some assembly plants as well as at several parts plants which were impacted by the United Auto Workers strike in the United States," Statistics Canada said. The labor group approved a new four-year contract with General Motors Co. in late October, ending the strike.

Elsewhere, sales of leather and allied products slid 7.8% while that of clothing manufacturing dropped 3.2%. In all, sales were down in 11 of 21 manufacturing industries.

On an annual basis, manufacturing sales slumped 2.1% in October.