Manufacturing sales drop more than 3% in February

Manufacturing sales in Canada tumbled by 3.3 per cent in February, ending three months of consecutive gains, Statistics Canada said Friday.

The drop in sales exceeded the consensus expectation of economists, who had projected a 1.5-per-cent pullback.

Scotiabank said the February drop was the  largest monthly decline since January of last year.

Motor vehicles and petroleum and coal products were responsible for over two-thirds of the decrease, Statistics Canada said. 

Sales of motor vehicles fell 10.5 per cent in February, following four consecutive gains. 

Motor vehicle parts, aerospace product and parts, and machinery also contributed to the February retreat.

"Today's report does support our view that the pop in economic activity in [the first quarter of 2016] will prove temporary and that real GDP growth will settle into a sub-two per cent pace for the remainder of the year," TD economist Diana Petramala said in a commentary.

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