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Manufacturing increase highest level in 8 months

(May 17, 2012) — Manufacturing sales increased 1.9% in March to $49.7 billion, the largest advance since September 2011, according to StatsCan.

The gain was led by the petroleum and coal products industry (+4.5%) to $7.5 billion – the highest level since July 2008.

Although eight industries posted lower sales in March, most declines were relatively small.

Meanwhile, inventory levels fell 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009. Inventories decreased in three of the last four months.