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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales slipped by 0.9 percent in March on weakness in the transportation equipment and primary metals industries, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.
The drop was less steep than the 1.8 percent fall that analysts forecast in a Reuters poll. Statscan revised February's decline to 4.0 percent, the largest month-on-month decrease in almost seven years, from an initial 3.3 percent.
Sales were down in 16 of 21 industries, representing 88.3 percent of Canadian manufacturing. Transportation equipment sales fell by 3.4 percent on a 7.0 percent drop in production in the aerospace product and parts sector.
Primary metals sales declined by 5.6 percent, while those in the petroleum and coal products industry climbed 11.3 percent, their first rise in 10 months, on the back of higher petroleum prices.
Overall inventories edged down by 0.4 percent to their lowest level since January, while new orders fell 2.2 percent.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn