OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rose more than expected in November to their highest level in almost two years as a result of gains in the volatile aerospace industry and in motor vehicles and machinery, Statistics Canada data indicated on Tuesday.
Factory sales jumped 1.0 percent to C$50.5 billion ($45.9 billion) in the month, well above the market forecast of a 0.3 percent advance, and in volume terms sales increased 0.7 percent.
Sales of aerospace products and parts, which can swing dramatically from month to month, shot up 21.3 percent.
Motor vehicle sales, a more reliable gage of the health of the manufacturing sector, increased by a hefty 5 percent, the highest since November 2007. Statscan said the motor vehicle industry comprised 9.6 percent of total manufacturing in November after falling to 4 percent during the 2008-09 recession.
The machinery industry saw sales rise 5.4 percent while the food and chemical industries registered declines.
New orders for factory goods rose 1.2 percent on demand for machinery, aerospace products and motor vehicles. Unfilled orders increased 0.4 percent but would have fallen if aerospace was excluded.
Inventories grew more slowly than sales, rising just 0.2 percent. As a result, the inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.37 in November from 1.38 in October.
Reporting by Louise Egan and Alex Paterson; Editing by Nick Zieminski