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OTTAWA, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices rose in January for the first time in six months as higher costs for vehicles offset lower energy prices, data from Statistics Canada showed on Monday.
Prices were up 0.5 percent, against economists' expectations for no change. December's figures were revised down slightly to a decline of 0.3 percent from an initially reported 0.2 percent decrease. January's gain was the first increase since July.
Among the 21 major commodity groups, 18 were up, including a 2.7 percent increase in the cost of motorized and recreational vehicles. The higher prices were closely linked to a recent drop in the Canadian dollar against the greenback, the agency said.
But energy and petroleum products led the downside with a 7.3 percent drop, partly due to a decrease in motor gasoline prices.
Raw materials prices slipped 0.4 percent, far less than forecasts for a decline of 3.3 percent. Although prices for crude energy products fell, that was moderated by more expensive prices for animals, particularly cattle.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Bernadette Baum