Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales edged down 0.3 per cent in March to $49.5-billion, the third decline in four months.
The agency says the decline largely reflects lower sales in the petroleum and coal product and in the chemical manufacturing industries. Excluding these industries, Canadian manufacturing sales rose 0.3 per cent.
Over all, sales declined in 10 of 21 industries, representing approximately one-third of Canadian manufacturing.
Sales of non-durable goods declined 0.8 per cent to $24.4-billion and were partially offset by a 0.2 per cent increase in sales of durable goods.
Sales fell in six provinces in March with most of the decreases reported by manufacturers in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan.
Sales jumped 30.7 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador and there was very little change in the sales in other provinces.