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Ontario's Automotive Sector Showing Signs of Driving Ontario's Economy

Driven by Ontario, high sales of cars and food brought unexpectedly good results in January DANA FLAVELLE, STAR TOUCH Canadian manufacturing, specifically Ontario’s automotive sector, is showing signs of finally roaring back to life.Strong U.S. demand and a lower dollar helped pushed manufacturing sales in January a higher than expected 2.3 per cent to a record $53.1 billion, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. Volumes reached levels last seen before the Great Recession of 2008-09.

Much of it was driven by Ontario, where manufacturing sales jumped 3.9 per cent to a record $26.4 billion, partly on moves by some auto makers to retool their plants to produce higher-value vehicles, Statistics Canada said.

“This is a pretty dynamite report,” said Toronto-Dominion Bank economist Brian DePratto. “It’s hard to find anything not to really like about it. This is more confirmation of our view that (economic) growth in the first quarter is likely to be north of 2 per cent.”

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