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Autos, loonie help lift August producer prices

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Higher motor vehicle prices unexpectedly pushed up the Canadian producer price index in August by 0.5 percent, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

A depreciation of the Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart in the month helped raise vehicle and transport equipment prices by 1.7 percent.

Stripping out the impact of the currency movements, producer prices would have fallen 0.2 percent, closer to the 0.3 percent decline forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The increase in industrial product prices followed three months of declines. Statscan revised the July drop to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent previously.

Raw materials prices fell 3.2 percent in August, largely because of a drop in crude oil prices.

Compared with August of last year, producer prices rose 5.2 percent and raw materials prices jumped 13.3 percent.

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