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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rebounded in November to their highest level since October 2008 after a mild downturn in October, led by the machinery, automotive and energy sectors, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Factory sales rose 2.0 percent in the month to $49.6 billion (US$49.1 billion), beating market forecasts of a 1.2 percent gain. In volume terms, sales grew 1.7 percent.
Statscan revised its October data to show a 0.6 percent decline compared with the 0.8 percent drop previously reported.
Manufacturers were the hardest hit in Canada's 2008-09 recession and sales have not quite returned to their pre-recession peak of C$53 billion in July 2008.
Sales in November grew across a broad spectrum of industries, Statscan said, but the biggest increase was in machinery, where shipments soared 13.4 percent to a record high on demand from the oil, gas and mining sectors to supply large projects.
Petroleum and coal industry sales jumped 3.9 percent and motor vehicles sales continued to recover from supply chain disruptions earlier in the year, rising 7.1 percent.
Other details of the report were also upbeat, with new orders for factory goods climbing 3.6 percent, unfilled orders up 1.2 percent and sales excluding autos up 1.5 percent.
Manufacturers' inventories rose 0.4 percent for the 14th straight increase, while the inventory-to-sales ratio declined to 1.31 from 1.33 in October.
($1 = $1.01 Canadian)
Reporting By Louise Egan and David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama