OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian factory sales rose by 1.6% in May, the most in a year, boosted by strong demand for motor vehicles and parts after auto plants that had temporarily shut down resumed production, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a gain of 2.0%. The increase was the largest since the 2.1% advance in May 2018.
Sales in the transportation industry rose 8.1% after a 5.8% decline in April. Sales of motor vehicles jumped by 13.3%, the highest month-on-month increase since November 2017, while motor vehicles parts recorded a 7.3% gain.
Sales in the petroleum and coal industries rose for the fifth straight month, climbing 2.0%.
While the increase was concentrated in Ontario, Statistics Canada said sales were up in six of the 10 provinces.
Reporting by Kelsey Johnson' Editing by David Ljunggren and Steve Orlofsky