Higher prices lifted manufacturing sales in March

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose 2.5 per cent to $70.2 billion in March, helped by higher prices.

The gains were led by the petroleum and coal product industry which increased 9.1 per cent in March, while sales of primary metals rose 6.5 per cent in March to $5.8 billion, a record high.

The agency says sales in constant dollars were unchanged in March, indicating the increase was driven by higher prices.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada says wholesale sales rose 0.3 per cent in March to $79.8 billion.

The gains came as the building material and supplies sector rose 3.8 per cent to $14.1 billion, while the motor vehicle and motor vehicle accessories and parts sub-sectors gained 2.6 per cent at $11.8 billion.

Wholesale sales in constant dollar terms fell 0.6 per cent.