OTTAWA, Dec 1 (Reuters) - - The pace of growth in Canadian manufacturing picked up modestly in November as a measure of new orders rose to its highest level in seven months, data showed on Thursday, an encouraging sign for a sector that has struggled to make strong gains this year.
The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 51.5 last month from 51.1 in October. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
The gauge of new orders increased to 52.2 from 50.4 as orders for exports grew for the first time since June. Manufacturers said they were seeing a build up in inventory among their clients and a lift from the weaker Canadian dollar.
The Canadian economy is still recovering from the oil price shock that put it in a brief recession last year. The improved manufacturing growth followed data earlier this week that showed the economy grew strongly in the third quarter, raising optimism the fourth quarter could be firmer than had been anticipated.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr, Editing by Meredith Mazzilli