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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales jumped for the third consecutive month in July, driven by increased sales in the motor vehicle parts and assembly industries, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.
Factory sales rose 1.7 percent, exceeding economists' expectations for a gain of 1.0 percent. Figures for May and June also were revised higher. In volume terms, sales rose 1.1 percent in July.
Higher sales in vehicles and parts accounted for nearly two-thirds of the overall increase. Parts sales surged 12.1 percent, while sales in the vehicle assembly sector rose 5.6 percent. Scheduled shutdowns at North American assembly plants were shorter in July than in previous years.
The rise in sales in the vehicle industries helped bolster overall sales in the province of Ontario. But sales fell in Alberta, where the country's oil sands are located, partly as the machinery products industry was weighed by lower sales of mining, and oil and gas field machinery.
New orders climbed 10.2 percent on more orders in the aerospace industry.
The shock from the sharp drop in oil prices put the Canadian economy in a mild recession in the first half of the year, but recent data has suggested it entered the third quarter on firmer footing.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Paul Simao