OTTAWA (AP) -- Sales of manufactured goods rose 1.6 percent to $50.1 billion in February over the month previous, due in part to a gradual bounce-back by Canada's motor-vehicle industry.
This marked the second successive increase in manufacturing sales, as manufacturers continued to make up ground lost after a tough December, when sales dropped 3.7 percent.
The volume of goods manufactured also improved in February.
Despite the consecutive increases, manufacturing sales were well off levels of one year ago as the sector coped with an array of economic concerns.
February's sales remained 2.3 percent below levels of the same month in 2007, and 5.6 percent below the March 2007 peak of $53.1 billion.
Manufacturers continued to lay off workers as sales levels remained tenuous while the economy of Canada's largest trading partner, the United States, continued to slow and soaring energy prices helped inflate costs.
Manufacturers have cut thousands of jobs from their payrolls, including 23,700 in February and another 9,400 in March.