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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's composite leading indicator was unchanged in July as the sharpest drop in the housing index since June 2002 offset gains in most other components, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.1 percent rise in the index after a flat reading in June.
The housing index tumbled 2.9 percent largely because of fewer housing starts in July. The only other indicator to decline was the average work week in the manufacturing sector, which fell 0.5 percent.
Consumer spending continued to grow despite slowing auto sales, Statscan said, and new orders for manufacturers rebounded on demand from the aerospace sector.
* Statistics Canada report
Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Scott Anderson