WRAPUP 1-Canada factory sales raise concerns about Jan. growth

Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:22am EDT
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* Factory sales dip 0.2 pct vs forecast of 0.9 pct gain

* Volatile aerospace explains drop in sales, jump in new orders

* Wholesale trade rises 0.3 pct on computers, electronics

* Subsector has dominated wholesale data for three months

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, March 19 (Reuters) - Canada's hard-hit manufacturers failed to bounce back in January after a dismal year-end performance, an early sign that the economy may continue to stumble in early 2013, partially offset by more upbeat wholesale activity in the month.

Factory sales slipped 0.2 percent in the month due to weak production in the volatile aerospace industry as well as in the auto and energy industries, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Market players had expected a 0.9 percent gain after a 3.3 percent tumble in December - the worst performance since May 2009 during the Great Recession.

"The rebound expected in manufacturing in January did not materialize," said Jimmy Jean, economic strategist at Desjardins Capital Markets.   Continued...