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Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales grew 1.9 per cent to $55.8 billion in February, boosted by the transportation equipment industry.

The increase in factory sales, an indicator of strength in the economy, came after two consecutive monthly decreases.

The federal agency says sales were up in 14 of 21 industries, representing 72.2 per cent of the manufacturing sector.

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Transportation equipment industry sales increased 6.6 per cent to $10.7 billion in February, following assembly plant shutdowns in January. The increase came as motor vehicle sales gained 8.9 per cent and motor vehicle parts sales climbed 4.8 per cent.

Sales in the primary metal manufacturing industry rose 4.8 per cent to $4.3 billion.

Partially offsetting the gains, the petroleum and coal products industry saw sales fall 2.1 per cent to $5.8 billion, due in part to a decrease in the price of refined products.

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