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Canadian manufacturing sales rise in March

Manufacturing sales in Canada rose for the second straight month in March, driven by strong numbers for primary metal, aerospace products and parts, fabricated metal products and other transportation equipment, Canada's statistical agency said.

Manufacturing sales increased by 1.4% to C$57.14 billion in March from a revised C$56.38 billion in February and rose 6.4% from a year ago, the agency's report showed.

Sales for primary metals rose 4.2% to C$4.37 billion in March after a 4.4% gain in the previous month. The iron and steel mills and the ferro-alloy and alumina and aluminum production and processing industries posted the largest gains for the month.

Aerospace products and parts sales climbed 10.6% to C$1.91 billion following a 4.0% gain in February, with the depreciation of the Canadian dollar helping increase the value of sales and inventories.

Fabricated metal products sales rose 4.6% to C$3.27 billion, while sales for other transportation equipment, and wood products rose 37.4% and 3.7%, respectively.

Sales fell in the motor vehicle, machinery, and computer and electronic products industries.

Total inventories rose for the sixth straight month, edging up 0.7% to C$79.24 billion, driven by gains in the transportation equipment, chemical, and plastic and rubber products industries.

The inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.39 in March from 1.40 in February.

New orders rose slipped 0.7%, while unfilled orders rose 1.5% from the previous month.