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OTTAWA, April 15 (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales tumbled more than expected in February, giving back some of their recent strength as sales of vehicles and petroleum products dropped, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Sales fell 3.3 percent, outstripping economists' forecasts for a decline of 1.5 percent and breaking a three-month run of gains. Volumes fell 2.0 percent.
While sales were down in 16 out of 21 sectors, a drop-off in motor vehicle and petroleum and coal product sales accounted for over two-thirds of the decrease.
Vehicle sales slumped 10.5 percent, reflecting a smaller than usual gain in unadjusted sales. On an unadjusted basis, sales for the sector were at their highest level since March 2007.
Sales of petroleum and coal products tumbled 12.6 percent, the ninth consecutive month of declines as prices continued to fall.
Overall inventories fell 0.7 percent to the lowest level in nearly a year, while new orders declined 8.1 percent in the largest drop since last February.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama