Canadian factory sales rose by the fastest in almost a year in March, adding to evidence the economy is emerging from a recent weak patch.
Manufacturing sales climbed 2.1 per cent from the prior month, the most since May 2018, Statistics Canada reported Thursday. The increase topped the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, which called for sales to rise 1.5 per cent.
The gain was driven primarily by an increase in oil and coal production, which rose 8.2 per cent on the month. Motor vehicle factory sales were also strong, rising 6.5 per cent. In volume terms, sales rose 1.6 per cent.
The strong manufacturing print adds to evidence the Canadian economy is emerging from a period of weakness that saw growth grind to a near halt in the last quarter of 2018.
March data has been mostly positive to this point, and the strong factory joins robust trade data and record employment growth.