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OTTAWA, April 17 (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rose more than expected in February after two months of declines as the vehicle sector bounced back from plant shutdowns at the beginning of the year, data from Statistics Canada showed on Tuesday.
A 1.9 percent increase in factory sales topped economists’ expectations for a gain of 1 percent. Volumes fared slightly better, up 2 percent.
Sales of transportation equipment climbed 6.6 percent, recovering from January’s drop as sales of motor vehicles and vehicle parts rose. The sector had been hurt by unusual assembly plant closures in January.
Increased sales in the primary metal and paper industries also boosted overall manufacturing sales, but that was tempered by a 2.1 percent decline in sales of petroleum and coal products as prices for refined products fell.
Inventories rose 1.3 percent to a record high and making for a fifth consecutive monthly increase, driven by gains in the transportation and primary metal sectors.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Steve Orlofsky