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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rebounded in August after a two-month slump largely due to big gains in the oil sector, although Statistics Canada cautioned that the refinery data was subject to review after partial shutdowns at several plants.
Factory sales jumped 1.5 percent in the month to C$49.5 billion ($50.5 billion), the highest since March, the agency said on Tuesday. Statscan revised the July figures to show a 0.8 percent decline rather than the 1.5 percent decline previously reported.
Analysts had forecast a 0.4 percent rise in factory sales, which have not yet recovered to their pre-recession level.
In volume terms, sales rose 1.8 percent in the month.
Sales in the petroleum and coal industry soared by 8.6 percent as some refineries ramped up production after slowdowns between April and June for maintenance and retooling. Statscan said it was reviewing the reported sales data from several refineries, which resulted in revisions to July data and could result in further revisions to data from the sector.
The motor vehicle industry and primary metals were the other big contributors to the sales increase in August.
New orders for factory goods rose 1.4 percent while unfilled orders slid 0.7 percent. Inventories slipped 0.1 percent and the inventory-to-sales ratio eased to 1.32 from 1.34.
($1 = $0.98 Canadian)
Reporting by Louise Egan and David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish