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A welder works in a factory in Quebec City on Feb. 28, 2012.

The Canadian Press

Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose seven per cent to $53.1 billion in July, helped by gains in sales in the motor vehicle and parts sector.

However, despite three consecutive months of growth, the agency says manufacturing sales remain 5.4 per cent below their pre-pandemic level in February.

Economists had expected an increase of 8.7 per cent for July, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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Sales rose in 13 of the 21 industries for the month.

Sales in the transportation equipment industry rose by 24.1 per cent in July, boosted by a 32.9 per cent gain in motor vehicle sales. Sales of motor vehicle parts rose 38.9 per cent.

Manufacturing sales in constant dollars rose 6.1 per cent.

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