June factory sales stronger than expected

Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:30am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Higher prices for petroleum products and other goods boosted Canadian manufacturing sales by a stronger-than-expected 2.1 percent in June from May, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

In volume terms, factory sales climbed just 0.6 percent in the month. Prices rose sharply in the month for petroleum and coal, chemical products, wood products and motor vehicles, Statscan said.

The strength in manufacturing, which directly accounts for about one-fifth of all economic activity, topped expectations for a 1 percent rise in sales. It was the third month in a row in which sales grew by over 2 percent.

Statscan revised the May increase to 2.2 percent from its prior estimate of a 2.7 percent gain.

Fourteen of the 21 manufacturing industries posted gains. Producers of petroleum and coal products saw the biggest jump in shipments at 6.4 percent, followed by primary metal manufacturers with a 6.1 percent rise. Sales by motor vehicle factories grew 4.2 percent

New orders and unfilled orders gathered momentum in June while inventories grew at a slower pace than in May.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing By Jeffrey Jones)