April 30, 2013 / 12:42 PM / 6 years ago

Weaker Canadian dollar helps lift Canadian producer prices in March

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices climbed 0.1 percent in March from February as the Canadian dollar weakened against its U.S. counterpart, lifting prices for motor vehicles and other exports, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Without the effect of the exchange rate, the industrial product price index would have fallen 0.3 percent because of falling prices for petroleum and coal as well as for some metals, the federal agency said.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast, on average, a 0.3 percent rise in the price of goods as they leave the factory gate.

The motor vehicles and other transport equipment sector contributed most to the price gains, rising 0.9 percent, followed by pulp and paper products. Lumber and other wood products also got a boost from an increase in housing starts in March. Petroleum and coal prices slid 1.8 percent and primary metal products fell 1.2 percent.

In the 12 months to March, producer prices rose 0.9 percent compared with forecasts of a 0.6 percent increase.

Raw materials prices unexpectedly fell 1.7 percent in the month, mainly due to lower prices for crude oil. Compared with a year earlier, raw materials were down 2 percent.

Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Grant McCool

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