July 15, 2016 / 12:47 PM / in a year

Canada factory sales down 1 pct, hit by wildfires, earthquake

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales fell 1.0 percent in May from April, the third decline in five months, in part due to disruptions caused by Alberta wildfires and an earthquake in Japan, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

File photo of production associates inspecting cars moving along assembly line at Honda manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

The drop was greater than the 0.7 percent decline forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts. Volumes dropped by 2.1 percent, while prices rose by 1.1 percent.

Sales fell in 15 of 21 industries, representing nearly 70 percent of Canadian manufacturing.

Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry fell by 2.2 percent on lower volumes sold. This partly reflected the effects of the wildfires, which forced the shutdown of oil sands facilities.

Statscan said an April earthquake in Japan that interrupted supply chains helped cut May motor vehicle sales by 4.2 percent and sales of motor vehicle parts by 2.3 percent.

Overall inventories edged down by 0.2 percent to their lowest level since December 2014, while new orders rose by 0.3 percent.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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