Factory Sales Slip in December

Not as many factory-made goods went home to consumers in December as the month before, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada.

Sales edged down 0.3% to $55.52 billion on declines in 11 of 21 industries, representing 57 percent of the manufacturing sector. Volumes fell by 0.1%.

The agency says the downward number followed a huge jump in November, pulled down by weakness in petroleum and coal products as well as food manufacturing.

Analysts had forecast a 0.2% gain. StatsCan revised November's gain to 3.8%, the biggest advance since the 5% leap seen in July 2009.

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry fell 4.1% after five consecutive month-on-month increases while food industry sales dropped by 2.6% on weakness in the meat product and dairy product industries.

New orders were up by 0.3% while unfilled orders fell by 0.7%, the second monthly drop in a row, on lower demand in the aerospace products and parts industry.