Canadian factory sales up 1.4 percent in May on chemicals, machinery

FILE PHOTO: Workers are seen at at Bri-Steel Manufacturing, a manufacturer and distributer of seamless steel pipes, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Candace Elliott/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales rose by 1.4 percent in May from April, thanks largely to strength in the chemicals and machinery industries, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast a 0.5 percent increase. Statscan revised April’s decline to 1.1 percent from an initial 1.3 percent drop.

Sales rose in 14 out of 21 industries, representing 64.0 percent of total manufacturing sales. In volume terms, they advanced by 0.9 percent.

Sales in the chemical industry increased by 6.2 percent on increased shipments of pesticides and fertilizers while machinery sales grew by 8.9 percent after three consecutive month-on-month declines.

The petroleum and coal product industry - continuing to grapple with shutdowns at several oil refineries for maintenance and retooling - posted a 1.8 percent decline from April.

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Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Nick Zieminski