UPDATE 1-Canada March producer prices fall on lower vehicle costs

Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:54am EDT
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OTTAWA, April 29 (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices declined for the second month in a row in March as a stronger Canadian dollar helped lower prices of motorized and recreational vehicles, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

Prices fell 0.6 percent, short of analysts' expectations for a gain of 0.1 percent. February's decline was revised to 1.0 percent from an initially reported decline of 1.1 percent.

The 2.9 percent price decline in the vehicles sector was partly driven by a 3.0 percent drop in prices for passenger cars and light trucks. The decrease was closely linked to the appreciation of the Canadian dollar compared to the greenback, the statistics agency said, as it makes imports less expensive.

The sector's drop was offset by a 5.2 percent jump in energy and petroleum product prices as the cost of gasoline surged 10.9 percent, its biggest gain in over a year.

Higher prices for crude energy products lifted the raw materials index 4.5 percent. Excluding crude energy products, raw materials prices were down 0.3 percent.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)