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Canada manufacturing sales unexpectedly drop for 3rd straight month

Manufacturing sales in Canada unexpectedly declined in November 2019, registering the third consecutive monthly loss amid lower sales in the primary metal, chemical and food industries, data from Statistics Canada showed.

Seasonally adjusted manufacturing sales value fell 0.6% to C$57.02 billion in the month from a revised C$57.36 billion in October 2019. The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for sales to rebound with a 0.3% growth.

The downturn was primarily driven by primary metals, which slumped 11.7% to log the largest monthly loss since December 2008. A 3.6% decrease in chemical sales and a 1.7% fall in food manufacturing sales also dragged overall figures.

Meanwhile, sales of transportation equipment and fabricated metal products rose 4.2% and 4.7%, respectively on a monthly basis, partially offsetting the overall manufacturing sales decline.

Manufacturing sales were down in 11 of 21 industries. Sales in non-durable goods industries slid 1.3% while that in durable goods industries remained unchanged.

In volume terms, manufacturing sales edged down 0.8% month over month.