Canadian factory sales rise by 1.6% in May on higher autos output

FILE PHOTO: The Toronto city skyline is shown in this aerial photo over Lake Ontario in Toronto November 1, 2015. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

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