(Adds details from report)
OTTAWA Feb 15 Canadian manufacturing sales
unexpectedly jumped for the second month in a row in December
as firms sold higher amounts of transportation equipment and
petroleum products at the end of the year, data from Statistics
Canada showed on Wednesday.
The 2.3 percent increase exceeded economists' expectations
for a gain of 0.2 percent, while November was revised
significantly higher to show a rise of 2.3 percent from an
initially reported 1.5 percent.
Volumes were up 2.3 percent in December, boding well for
economic growth in the fourth quarter.
Transportation equipment sales rose 7.4 percent, helped by
increased demand in the vehicle parts and assembly industries.
The gain was also driven by the "other transportation equipment"
category, which includes manufacturing for all-terrain and
Sales of petroleum and coal products climbed 11.6 percent as
refineries restarted production following maintenance in
September and October. Overall, sales rose in 8 out of 21
industries, accounting for 41 percent of the manufacturing
Companies continued to draw down their inventories, which
fell 0.3 percent in a third consecutive monthly decline, while
the forward-looking new orders gauge was down 0.6 percent.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Nick Zieminski)