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Factory sales up 0.6%, more in real terms

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Manufacturing sales rose for the fifth time in six months in December, though the 0.6-percent increase fell short of expectations for a 1.5 percent rise, Statistics Canada data showed on Thursday.

In constant dollar terms, of relevance in calculating real moves in gross domestic product, sales rose a stronger 1.2 percent. A decline in oil product prices was largely responsible for the overall fall in manufacturing prices.

November's factory sales increase was revised downward slightly to 1.9 percent from an originally reported 2.0 percent.

Durable goods sales rose 2.1 percent in December, with motor vehicle manufacturers sales up by 2.9 percent to the highest level since November 2007. Non-durables fell 0.9 percent. For 2011 as a whole, manufacturing sales rose 7.8 percent from 2010 to $571 billion.

Statistics Canada said seven of 21 manufacturing industries had now reached or surpassed levels of October 2008, when the recent economic downturn started.

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