The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that Canadian manufacturing sales ended a streak of three consecutive months of declines as they grew more than expected in January.
A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post reports that Statistics Canada said Friday manufacturing sales in the first month of the year rose a full per cent to $57.1-billion, boosted by higher sales in the food as well as the electrical equipment, appliance and component industries.
Economists on average had expected an increase of 0.4 per cent for January.
Manufacturing sales in volume terms rose 1.4 per cent. The better-than-expected numbers followed disappointing economic growth figures to end 2018.
The BOC kept its key interest rate on hold last week following an unexpectedly weak reading for economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year. Growth in the three-month period slowed to an annualized pace of just 0.4 per cent, the slowest pace in 2-1/2 years.
TD notes that despite the positive manufacturing numbers, it still expects a generally weak first quarter. TD economist Omar Abdelrahman says, "Looking ahead, the manufacturing sector should receive some support from a weak loonie and continued growth south of the border."
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