OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices increased by 0.3 percent in March from February, pushed up by higher prices for energy and petroleum products, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts had forecast a 0.1 percent decrease in the month after a 1.8 percent jump in February that marked the end of five consecutive monthly declines on the back of slumping oil prices.
The main contributor to March's increase was a 1.8 percent advance in energy and petroleum product prices. Of the 21 commodity groups, 11 rose, seven fell and three stayed unchanged.
Producer prices dropped by 1.8 percent over the 12 months to March, pulled down by a 23.5 percent drop in energy and petroleum product prices.
Lower prices for crude energy products helped cut raw material prices by 0.9 percent from February. Analysts had forecast a 2.0 percent drop.
Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Zieminski