July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian factory sales jumped 1.6 percent in May, gaining a fourth time in five months on a surge in production by car makers and petroleum refineries.
Sales rose to C$51.6 billion ($47.9 billion), the highest since July 2008, after a revised 0.2 percent decline in April, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 1.0 percent increase, the median in a Bloomberg survey with 13 responses.
Excluding price changes, factory sales rose 1.6 percent in the month. Receipts climbed in 11 of 21 categories tracked by Statistics Canada, accounting for 61 percent of production.
Sales by car makers increased 9.3 percent to C$4.9 billion in May, while shipments by petroleum and coal product producers rose 7.2 percent to C$7.4 billion in May. For both industries, Statistics Canada cited a return to more normal levels following temporary plant shutdowns in April.
Inventories fell 0.6 percent to C$71.9 billion, with the ratio of factory stockpiles to sales falling to 1.39 in May from 1.42 in April.
New factory orders fell 0.1 percent to C$51.2 billion and unfilled orders decreased 0.5 percent to C$89.3 billion.
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