Canada March Factory Sales Rise Fastest Since 2011 on Planes

Canadian factory sales rose in March at the fastest pace in almost four years as production of planes and automobiles rebounded.

Sales climbed 2.9 percent to C$51 billion ($42 billion), the fastest since July 2011 following two prior declines, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 1 percent increase according to the median of a Bloomberg survey with 16 responses.

Motor vehicle sales rose 12.8 percent to C$4.74 billion in March, following a two-month decline of 18.9 percent as some plants had retooling shutdowns. Aerospace receipts increased 42.3 percent to C$1.85 billion. Food sales rose 3 percent to a record C$8.28 billion.

A weaker Canadian dollar is helping manufacturers because it makes their goods cheaper to foreign customers, while the recent drop in crude oil prices and faster U.S. growth is also a benefit. Policy makers are counting on shipments from manufacturers outside the energy industry to lead economic growth.

Sales rose in 10 of 21 categories tracked by Statistics Canada, accounting for 60 percent of production.

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