UPDATE 2-Canada March factory output rises to post-recession high

Thu May 15, 2014 8:50am EDT
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* March sales up 0.4 pct; Reuters survey +0.3 pct

* Constant-dollar sales +0.5 pct

* New orders -19.9 pct, largest fall at least since 1992

* Unfilled orders -0.8 pct; +15.4 pct in Feb (Adds effects of revisions, paragraphs 7-8)

OTTAWA, May 15 (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rose in March, by 0.4 percent, for the third straight month and the sixth time in the last seven months, and registered a gain of 3.5 percent from a year earlier, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Sales rose to a post-recession high of C$50.92 billion ($46.72 billion), the largest since August 2008.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts had been for a 0.3 percent rise from February, though estimates ranged from a 1.0 percent drop to a 1.6 percent climb.

The volume, or constant-dollar value, of sales rose by 0.5 percent.   Continued...