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A welder works in a factory in Quebec City where Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced financial support under the Plan Nord to allow a company to train northern Quebec workers, Feb. 28, 2012.Jacques Boissinot/The Canadian Press

The latest manufacturing data indicate that business sentiment in Canada continues to rise but at a slower pace than before.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for June was 52.4, down slightly from 53.2 in May.

A reading of over 50 is a sign of positive business sentiment.

"Though the pace of improvement was down from May, which had an index reading of 53.2, it did represent the second highest reading since September of last year," RBC Economics Research said in a note Tuesday.

"With business balance sheets healthy, improving sentiment bodes well for increased investment spending that is being relied upon as a mainstay of economic growth this year and next."

The positive news out of Canada was reflected in many other key countries, although China posted disappointing numbers.

In the U.S., the index for June from the Institute for Supply Management rose to 50.9.

In Britain, the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.5 in June from 51.5 in May; analysts had forecast 51.5.

The PMI in that country is at its highest level since May of 2011.

In Japan, the PMI rose to 52.3 in June from 51.5 in May.

For economic powerhouse China, the HSBC PMI dropped to 48.2 in June from 49.2 in May, in contraction territory.