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Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 2.1 per cent to $58.0-billion in March.

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 2.1 per cent to $58.0-billion in March, boosted by the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries.

Economists had expected a 1.1-per-cent increase for the month, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, representing 56.4 per cent of the Canadian manufacturing sector.

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Sales of transportation equipment increased 4.5 per cent to $11.1-billion in March, helped by a 6.5-per-cent increase in motor vehicle sales.

The petroleum and coal product industry reported sales rose 8.2 per cent to $6.2-billion, while primary metal sales climbed 5.3 per cent to $4.4-billion.

Over all, manufacturing sales rose 1.6 per cent in volume terms.

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